Just the end of the world on Arte: Vincent Cassel replaced a great actor in the casting

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In 2016, the filmmaker Xavier Dolan signed “Juste la fin du monde”. The feature film brings together an impressive cast. But did you know that initially Vincent Cassel was not to appear in the film?

Just the end of the world : Xavier Dolan assaulting French cinema

After his triumph with Mommy, the canadian director Xavier Dolan changes register and decides to tour with a 100% French cast. In 2016, he started directing Just the end of the world. The story tells how, after 12 years of absence, a writer returns to his native village to announce his imminent death to his family. This reunion in the family circle is carried by resentment, doubts and regrets.

Antoine (Vincent Cassel) – Just the end of the world © Sons of Manual / MK2 Productions

The main interest of this new opus by Xavier Dolan lies above all in her impressive cast. The talented director drew on French cinema to build his cast. Talented actors like Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel and Marion Cotillard thus appear on the screen. However, despite this four-star cast, Just the end of the world receives a much less positive critical reception than his previous films. And this despite a series of awards at the Césars: Best Direction, Best Actor for Gaspard Ulliel and Best Editing.

When Vincent Cassel replaces another great actor

Otherwise, Just the end of the world is an adaptation of an eponymous play by Jean-Luc Lagarce. The latter, who died in 1995, was a famous director. It remains, even today, one of the most played in France. His texts are regularly translated into more than twenty different languages. Part of his work is autobiographical and features a double of the author. The writer mainly deals with family, origins, farewells and returns. This is the case for examples of parts like Return to the citadel, The distant land and so Just the end of the world that he has written in 1990.

If Vincent Cassel offers a remarkable performance in front of Xavier Dolan’s camera, it was not initially planned for the casting. Indeed it was called at the last minute by the filmmaker to replace his first choice. The role of Antoine was to go to another great actor of French cinema: Reda Kateb. The latter finally gave up shooting in Just the end of the world to join the cast of another film: The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez of the great Win Wenders. It must be said that between Xavier Dolan and Win Wenders, the choice is pretty tough.

Adel Chibane (Reda Kateb) - In Therapy
Adel Chibane (Reda Kateb) – In Therapy © Les Films du Poisson

As for Vincent Cassel, he accepted without hesitation to replace Reda Kateb. The urgency of the project, the cast he admired without restraint and the fact of working under the direction of Dolan, made him want to be part of the adventure. Since then, Reda Kateb and Vincent Cassel have both found themselves in front of the cameras of Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano for Out of standards.

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