Filming has already wrapped on the The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, but it's about to go through a major edit, and Jessica Chastain will not be making the cut.
It was announced Sunday that the actress has been removed from the movie—which also stars Natalie Portman, Kit Harington, Kathy Bates, Bella Thorne, and Susan Sarandon—for plot-related reasons.
Unusually, the matter has been dealt with in an unflinchingly public manner. Both Chastain and the film's director Xavier Dolan took to Instagram on Sunday in order to set the record straight over what happened, and it genuinely seems that there is no bad blood over the decision.
“It was an extremely difficult decision to make. I feel, toward Jessica, a very sincere love and great admiration. The decision was editorial and narrative, in that it has nothing to do with a performance, and everything to do with a character, and the compatibility of its storyline,” Dolan wrote in part of his lengthy multi-slide explanation.
“This ‘villain’ subplot, albeit funny and entertaining, didn’t feel like it belonged to the rest of the story, which ended up not being on heroes or their nemesis, but rather on childhood, and its dreams.”
After Dolan released his statement, Chastain also spoke out about the decision.
“Darlings there’s some #johnfdonovan news,” she captioned a photo of her own. “Don’t worry, I was informed in advance of [Xavier’s] letter. This has been handled with the upmost respect and love. [Xavier], I am always impressed with your true commitment to telling a story. To be an artist in each moment, you move beyond past ideas and expectations. I love you dearly and look forward to our future collaborations in life and art.”
Even though it didn't work out this time, with such mutual respect between the two, hopefully a future project together isn't out of the question.