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AFM: Xavier Dolan’s ‘The Death and Life of John F. Donovan’ Set for Spring Start

Xavier Dolan plans on a spring shoot for his drama”The Death and Life of John F. Donovan,” starring Kit Harington, Jessica Chastain, Susan Sarandon and Kathy Bates.

Entertainment One’s Seville International is launching sales of Dolan’s first English-language film at the American Film Market, with the exception of France where the producers will jointly handle the rights with Seville International, and in the U.S., where the film will be jointly handled by CAA. eOne and Les Films Seville will directly distribute in Canada.

The film will focus on a young actor who recalls his penpal relationship with his American TV idol who died 10 years earlier, exploring the hardships of fame and hurdles of the movie business.

“It is a movie about a man trying to make it, trying to live his dream and his life all at once, and being told that he basically can’t,” Dolan said. “It also is about a kid dreaming of having this man’s life for all the wrong reasons, not realizing how painful it actually is. I was that kid, writing love letters to actors — as a matter of fact, it seems like I still am. And that story is a tribute to both the kid I was and the idols of my childhood — some died, some just disappeared without a trace, because they didn’t fit.”

Dolan will produce “The Death And Life Of John F. Donovan” with his Sons Of Manual producing partner Nancy Grant and Lyse Lafontaine of Lyla Films. Joe Iacono is the executive producer.

Dolan shot “It’s Only the End of the World” (“Juste La Fin Du Monde”) in the spring with Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, Nathalie Baye and Gaspard Ulliel starring. His family drama “Mommy” was released last year.

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