True Detective’s Taylor Kitsch Cast in New Role


News regarding the acting career of Taylor Kitsch has been fairly scarce since True Detective wrapped up its second season. Colin Farrell went on to join the wizarding world of Harry Potter, Rachel McAdams embraced the weird in Marvel’s Doctor Strange, and Vince Vaughn returned to drama in films like Hacksaw Ridge. For those who were curious about Kitsch’s career in the wake of True Detective, the wait is over.

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Writer/director Xavier Dolan has cast  Taylor Kitsch in his seventh feature film, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. According to TheWrap, the film follows “a young actor who recalls the secretive correspondence he shared as a teenager with an American TV star who died 10 years earlier.” Exploring the fiery crucible of fame within the context of the film industry, Donovan examines how issues of identity and diversity have changed in Hollywood over the past ten years.

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Joining a roster featuring Kit Harrington, Jessica Chastain, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, and a cameo by Adele, Kitsch may have found a director with whom he might forge a new cinematic identity. Xavier Dolan, a Quebec native only twenty-six years of age, has chosen Kitsch for a “unique” role in the film, one that will hopefully overshadow his previous experience in large-scale Hollywood blockbusters.

Taylor Kitsch famously starred in the box-office blunder that was John Carter, an ambitious science-fiction fantasy film that endeavored to become a franchise. The film only grossed $284 million at the box office, and against a bloated budget of $350 million, the chance for a sequel was short-lived indeed. Kitsch also starred in Battleship, another big budget Hollywood film that fared only slightly better than Carter.

The problem with hugely expensive productions like these is that, if they fail, they can do a lot of damage to the careers of those involved. Look at what happened to Josh Trank in the aftermath of Fantastic Four. Meddling producers and Twitter aside, you have this young man who is put in charge of a really big franchise, only to be thrown into ‘director jail’ when his film has a lousy opening weekend. It can be a horribly scarring experience, one that some actors and filmmakers never recover from, which is why the prospect of Kitsch entering a smaller film has us excited.

And hey, when Guillermo del Toro shows his support, there’s always reason for hope.

Next: Report: Nic Pizzolatto is Sticking With HBO.

By stepping away from Hollywood blockbusters and embracing more modest, artful, independent productions, Kitsch may find the opportunity to cultivate an identity far removed from his past.