There are still nearly two months to start shooting The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, (with Natalie as one of the many actors of the cast), but here are the first statements of Xavier Dolan about his next film, which outlines its intentions on the story and characters. We can also see the first promotional teaser poster:
Dolan’s first English language film, and boasts an impressive cast list, consisting of, among others, Kit Harrington, Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain, Bella Thorne, Kathy Bates, Nicholas Hoult, Taylor Kitsch, Susan Sarandon, Thandie Newton, Michael Gambon and Adele. The film is in pre-production, and will soon be in the recording.
Dolan takes the stage as a superstar to the tune of Q Lazzarus’ Goodbye Horses, La Plage Royale just off the Croisette in Cannes, and is habitual articulate when he talks about his vision for The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. By all accounts we are talking about a far more conventional film than his previous productions aimed at a large audience. Dolan emphasizes a distinct desire to to now really spread out – the film’s structure resembles a cartoon adaptation à la Marvel, with Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) as “superhero” and Jessica Chastain as antagonist.
Compères gives the impression that Christopher Nolan is a reference for the project ( “this is Dolans Nolan movie!”), But Dolan specifies that Hollywood auteur is not necessarily a source of inspiration, but only mentioned to give an idea of the film’s pace and tone . Although The Death and Life of John F. Donovan described as a character-driven drama, get an impression that the intensity will match any loud genre movie. According to Dolan will the soundtrack be even more crucial for the experience than in his earlier films, and this will lean heavily on original compositions rather than pop songs. (I wonder if Gabriel Yared continues his collaboration with the director after the memorable contribution to Tom à la ferme and Juste la fin du monde?)
After the session came Montages in chat with one of Dolans agents, who spoke openly about what aspirations they have with the project. Dolan will have an Oscar, it was said, and consequently wagering production company that The Death and Life of John F. Donovan becomes relevant for prestigious categories like film, director and original screenplay, in addition to potential prices for the actors.
The aim is to premiere at next year’s Cannes festival, and then stack a solid Oscar campaign on the legs during fall 2017. The film’s budget is $ 28 million, which is significantly higher than any of Dolans previous productions.
Asked about The Death and Life of John F. Donovan becomes a “transitional movie” where Dolan constantly away from the expression that so long has defined him as a filmmaker, the answer is an obvious yes. Dolan also signals that he wants to get the ability to create pure genre films in the future, since he himself greatly appreciate blockbusters: “I love superhero movies. I’m a good public, I do not have high standards. I go to the movies and I can enjoy myself very Easily.”