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Natalie Portman, Nicholas Hoult Join ‘Death and Life of John F. Donovan’

Natalie Portman, Nicholas Hoult and Thandie Newton have joined the ensemble cast of Xavier Dolan’s “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.”

Previously announced cast members include Kit Harington, Jessica Chastain, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Michael Gambon, Bella Thorne, Chris Zylka and Emily Hampshire.

Producers are Lyse Lafontaine of Lyla Films, Dolan and Nancy Grant of Sons of Manual. Joe Iacono is the executive producer.

Seville International is selling the film at the Berlin Film Festival 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 pen-pal relationship with his American TV idol — played by Harrington — who died 10 years earlier, exploring the hardships of fame and hurdles of the movie business.

Dolan shot “It’s Only the End of the World” (“Juste la fin du monde”) last year with Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, Nathalie Baye and Gaspard Ulliel starring. His family drama “Mommy” was released in 2014.

“John F. Donovan” is Dolan’s first English-language directing project.

Portman stars in “Jane Got a Gun,” the upcoming biopic “Jackie” and Alex Garland’s “Annihilation.” Hoult’s credits include “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Dolan is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment. Portman is represented by CAA and Law Offices of George Sheanshang. Hoult is represented by UTA, 42 and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson. Newton is represented by WME.

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