Cast and characters
Al Pacino: Danny Collins
Annette Bening: Mary Sinclair
Jennifer Garner: Samantha Leigh Donnelly
Bobby Cannavale: Tom Donnelly
Christopher Plummer: Frank Grubman
Nick Offerman: Guy DeLoach
Josh Peck: Nicky Ernst
Katarina Čas: Sophie
Melissa Benoist: Jamie
Giselle Eisenberg: Hope Donnelly
Michael Patrick McGill: Steve
Scott Lawrence: Dr. Ryan Kurtz
Eric Michael Roy: Young Danny Collins
Italian voice actors
Ugo Maria Morosi: Danny Collins
Roberta Greganti: Mary Sinclair
Laura Lenghi: Samantha Leigh Donnelly
Stefano Alessandroni: Tom Donnelly
Luciano De Ambrosis: Frank Grubman
Edoardo Stoppacciaro: Guy DeLoach
Marco Vivio: Nicky Ernst
Cristina Giachero: Sophie
Francesca Manicone: Jamie
Chiara Fabiano: Hope Donnelly
Luigi Ferraro: Steve
Roberto Draghetti: dr. Ryan Kurtz
Gianfranco Miranda: Danny Collins young
Inspired by a true story, Al Pacino plays senior 70s rocker Danny Collins, who can’t give up his way of life. But when his manager (Christopher Plummer) discovers an undelivered 40-year-old letter written for him by John Lennon, he decides to change course and embarks on a heartfelt journey to rediscover his family, find true love and start a second act of his life.
- Inspired by the story of singer Steve Tilston, who learned of the existence of a letter sent to him by John Lennon 34 years after the letter was written. In 1971 Lennon wrote a letter of support to Tilston which was never delivered. Lennon was inspired to write to the then 21-year-old folk singer after reading an interview in ZigZag magazine in which Tilston admitted that he feared that wealth and fame could negatively affect his writing. Tilston was unaware of the letter’s existence until a collector contacted him in 2005 to verify its authenticity. “Being rich doesn’t change your experience the way you think,” Lennon wrote. It was signed “With love John and Yoko”.
- The film marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Fogelman whose credits as a writer include Last Vegas, I’m leaving with mom, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Rapunzel: The intertwining of the tower.
- Al Pacino for his role in this film was nominated for a Golden Globes for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Film.
- The “Danny Collins” concert footage at the beginning of the film was shot during a Los Angeles concert by the Chicago band. The band took a 15 minute break while Pacino and the crew shot the intended scene.
- Dan Fogelman had Pacino in mind to play Danny Collins while writing the script. Pacino agreed, with a single request, for Bobby Cannavale to play his son. This is the first film in which Pacino and Cannavale act together.
- The photos on the wall of Collins’ house (about 10 minutes into the film), are all photos of Pacino’s previous roles; The Godfather, Serpico etc.
- Julianne Moore and Jeremy Renner were originally cast, but after some financial troubles the actors moved on and were replaced by Annette Bening and Bobby Cannavale.
- The project was originally created by Warner Bros in 2011 and starred Steve Carell.
- Gene Simmons taught the group of background actors how to countermelody in a deleted scene at Danny’s birthday party.
- Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer were another team in Insider – Behind the truth (1999) with Pacino as producer Lowell Bergman and Plummer as “60 Minutes” reporter Mike Wallace. In “Danny Collins” the roles are reversed with Pacino as an actor and Plummer working behind the scenes as his manager.
- Michael Caine was originally cast but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by Christopher Plummer.
- Al Pacino’s daughter Olivia has a small role in this film.
- Danny at one point defines himself and Mary as the new “Nichols and May”, referring to the comic duo formed by Mike Nichols and Elaine May in business between 1959 and 1962. Coincidentally, Al Pacino worked with Nichols in the TV miniseries. Angels in America (2003).
- The film cost $ 10 million and grossed about $ 11 million worldwide.
- The original music of the film is by the composer Theodore Shapiro (The Devil Wears Prada, Me & Marley, Dick and Jane – Operation Theft, Tammy Faye’s Eyes).
- The key song of the film, “Mary” is written by Ryan Adams and the background version shows Adams singing.
- Two of the film’s original songs, “Don’t Look Down” and “Hey Baby Doll,” starring Al Pacino, were on the tracklist vying for a spot in the five best original song category at the 2015 Oscars.
- The soundtrack includes several songs by John Lennon: “Working Class Hero”, “Whatever Gets You Through the Night”, “Imagine”, “Nobody Told Me”, “Beautiful Boy”, “Hold On”, “# 9 Dream”, “Cold Turkey”, “Love” and “Instant Karma”.
- The soundtrack includes the songs: “Happy Go Lucky” by Stephen Lang“Another Lonely Night” by Daniel May“The Rip Tide” by Beirut and ”Musical Chairs” by Rumspringa.