Update: Jean Marc Vallee’s cause of death was revealed to be due to a heart attack, according to Deadline. The director was planning to have a few guests over to his cabin in Quebec City, Canada, over Christmas, but was found dead the following morning.

Jean Marc Vallee, the Canadian filmmaker and director of Dallas Buyers Club, Wild, Sharp Objects, and the hit HBO series Big Little Lies, was found dead outside his Quebec City cabin this weekend. The Emmy Award-winning director’s cause of death is unknown, but his publicist, Bumble Ward, announced his passing was “unexpected.” He was 58 years old.

As investigators and loved ones try to piece together what happened, many took to social media to mourn the loss of their friend and offer condolences.

“He was a friend, creative partner and an older brother to me,” said Nathan Ross, his partner at Crazyrose, the director’s production company. “The maestro will sorely be missed but it comforts knowing his beautiful style and impactful work he shared with the world will live on.”

Just this past April, Crazyrose inked a deal with HBO to continue producing more limited series’ such as Gorilla and the Bird, based on a memoir about Zack McDermott, a public defender with the Legal Aid Society of New York who suffers a sudden psychotic break.

“I see that I seem to be attracted to these stories and to underdog characters,” Jean Marc Vallee once told The New York Times, speaking about his characters in Dallas Buyers Club and Sharp Objects. “The humanity, the beautiful humanity, is dark.”

Vallee is survived by his two sons, Alex Vallee and Emile Vallee; his sisters, Marie-Josee Vallee and Stephane Tousignant; and his brother, Gerald Vallee.

Jean Marc Vallee (far right) and the star-studded cast of HBO's 'Big Little Lies'
Jean Marc Vallee (far right) and the star-studded cast of HBO’s ‘Big Little Lies.’ Photo Credit: Shutterstock

“Jean-Marc Vallee was a brilliant, fiercely dedicated filmmaker, a truly phenomenal talent who infused every scene with a deeply visceral, emotional truth,” HBO said in an official statement. “He was also a hugely caring man who invested his whole self alongside every actor he directed. We are shocked at the news of his sudden death, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to his sons, Alex and Emile, his extended family, and his longtime producing partner, Nathan Ross.”

Born in Montreal in 1963, Jean Marc Vallee studied filmmaking at the College Ahuntsic and the Universite du Quebec a Montreal. He made six films before his 2013 breakout Dallas Buyers Club, starring Matthew McConaughey, including Los Lobos (1997), a western written by Martin Van Peebles, and The Young Victoria (2009), a British period drama starring Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria.

After Dallas Buyers Club, Jean Marc Vallee went on to work with Reese Witherspoon on Wild, which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, and HBO’s Big Little Lies, which also starred Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley.

The story, which explored the lives of wealthy mothers in Monterey, Ca., won Best Miniseries or Television Film at the Golden Globes, several acting awards, and Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Vallee then took on Sharp Objects with Amy Adams, the story of a troubled reported that added to his oeuvre of dark, flawed characters who are tortured by the human psyche. He served as executive producer on both Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects, as well.

“It’s true that my last projects were featuring mainly female characters,” Jean Marc Vallee stated in a 2018 HBO interview. “I’m not afraid of intelligent, strong women. You got to create a space where they’re going to feel respected and comfortable.”

“We pushed the envelope in order to capture something that feels real and authentic,” he revealed, adding that there were no storyboards or shot lists for Sharp Objects.

“I’m reacting to what they’re doing, instead of being active and telling them, this is what I’ll do with the camera,” he said. “I love it. You know, I’m like a kid on a set, a kid playing with a huge toy and having fun.”