It's been quite the rough go for director Andrew Dominick's Marilyn Monroe biopic. The film, regrettably, has been stuck in development hell for the past eight years now. It's also seen several high-profile actresses, namely Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain, attached to the project, but both eventually dropped out due to commitments set elsewhere. It appears, however, through the divine intervention of a streaming giant that the film has finally caught its big break. And unlike Marilyn, this film's first exposure will be set in the stage of one of the most innovative media companies of the modern age.
Netflix recently announced that the new biopic, titled Blonde, will begin filming early next year. The film is a adaptation of the Joyce Carol Oates biography. Marilyn was last brought to life onscreen in 2011's My Week With Marilyn. That Oscar-nominated film starred Michelle Williams as the the blonde bombshell actress who took Hollywood by storm, but mostly focused on the softer side of the real life woman who simply wanted to love and to be loved.
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A New Film, A New Chance To Tell A Familiar Story...
You can tell how much passion the director has for this project just by listening to him speak. In an interview with Indiewire, he talked a little about the project and how elated he is that it's finally moving forward. His previous work includes the 2012 action/thriller Killing Them Softly starring Brad Pitt and 2007's historical drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, also starring Brad Pitt. He says the film will take more of a wide appealing approach to audiences than what he offered in his previous films.
“I’m very grateful. My idea with the film is to make something a little more accessible than what I’ve done before. It moves a bit faster."
He's explained, when previously asked about the film, that we shouldn't expect the traditional biopic with this movie. His film, as I understand, will hopefully explore more of the behind-the-scenes of the actress and the secret life of Marilyn Monroe that the campy TV adaptations and light-hearted films have been lackluster in achieving thus far.
“It’s a really sprawling, emotional nightmare fairy-tale type movie, and I really want to do it real bad… It’s a story about an abandoned orphan who gets lost in the woods.”
But Also The Story Of The Woman Behind The Actress
As enchanting and romantic a film as My Week With Marilyn was, it didn't nearly quite capture the full scale of Marilyn's tragic Cinderella story. Marilyn Monroe is the American equivalent of a Greek tragedy. She shined so brightly and so beautifully that most surrounding her were unable to see the pain and the despair hiding deep behind that pretty face and the blinding glare of the limelight. A film that wants to take her story to another level needs to be able to accomplish that same feeling for the audience. Her story was not a magical one with a happy ending, and a movie that does her life justice shouldn't be, either.
For many, Monroe's story seems like a fairy tale. She moves to a new land, she creates a life by playing make-believe, she marries a handsome prince, she gets everything she ever wants, and in the end, she gets to be eternally beautiful. That's just not how real life works. Marilyn's Cinderella story may have started out like that but it took multiple tragic turns: She comes undone and she was alone and then she died. In many ways, her story is exactly how the director has described. She's just a little orphan girl who gets lost in the woods. But unlike so many tales of lost children, this one didn't make it back out. It's sad, it's depressing, it's disheartening.
But it's real. And that's what moviegoers deserve — and want — to see.
What's your favorite Marilyn Monroe movie?