May 13, 2010

Naomi Watts to play Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik's biopic of the star!

Here's the story from First Showing:

Back in December we heard about a film called My Week with Marilyn, which isn't so much a biopic of the legendary Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, but rather a focus on a very short amount of time she spent in London while filming Laurence Olivier's The Prince and the Showgirl in 1957, as told in Colin Clark's book. However, it looks like a more definitive biopic about the late actress is on the horizon as ScreenDaily is now reporting Naomi Watts is set to play the blonde starlet in an Andrew Domink (of The Assassination of Jesse James) directed adaptation of a fake memoir (we'll explain more below) appropriately titled Blonde.

The Joyce Carol Oates book in question is referred to as a fake memoir because it takes the liberty of being told from the point of view of Monroe with the names of certain well-known male suitors changed to vague descriptions including The Ex-Athlete (Joe DiMaggio), The Playwright (Arthur Miller) and The President (John F. Kennedy). But there's no argument that this is a very accurate, eye-opening and emotional look into the life of one of Hollywood's most famous blondes. Here's what Publisher's Weekly says about the book:

Dramatic, provocative and unsettlingly suggestive, Blonde is as much a bombshell as its protagonist, the legendary Marilyn Monroe. Writing in highly charged, impressionistic prose, Oates creates a striking and poignant portrait of the mythic star and the society that made and failed her. In a five-part narrative corresponding to the stages of Monroe's life, Oates renders the squalid circumstances of Norma Jeane's upbringing: the damage inflicted by a psychotic mother and the absence of an unknown (and perpetually yearned for) father, and the desolation of four years in an orphanage and betrayal in a foster home. She reviews the young Monroe's rocky road to stardom, involving sexual favors to studio chiefs who thought her sluttish, untalented and stupid, while they reaped millions from her movies; she conveys the essence of Monroe's three marriages and credibly establishes Monroe's insatiable need for security and love. To a remarkable extent, she captures Monroe's breathy voice and vulnerable stutter, and the almost schizoid personality that produced her mercurial behavior.

After seeing her in certain scenes in Peter Jackson's King Kong, there's no doubt that Watts has the looks to pull off a Marilyn Monroe biopic, and though she may have over-emphasized the period dialect of the time (of course, this could very well have been done purposely to make the film feel like an older movie) I have no doubt of her talent for portraying Monroe either. I'm surprised there hasn't been a more high profile biopic about Marilyn Monroe until now. Various films have featured her as a minor character and there have been plenty of made-for TV films focusing on her, but as far as I can recall, this will be the first feature film about her. Should be something to look forward to. What do you guys think of Watts as Marilyn Monroe?

12 comments:

  1. Andrew Dominik is my main selling point, but it definitely is interesting on the whole...

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  2. I think that this teaming could prove to make an extremely interesting film altogether. Watts is a great actress who never seems to get enough credit for her work, and "The Assassination of Jesse James" was my second favorite film of 2007 (along with being one of the best westerns ever made). So, suffice to say, I'm very excited about this project, especially with the more I hear about it.

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  3. Very excited. I think Naomi is an incredibly talented actress. Just watching her transition in King Kong when filming the "film within the film" scenes, when they called action. And to think she did a lot of her work with Kong, to a blue screen! She's phenomenally powerful. But the girl is going to have to eat something!

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  4. Agreed about her work in Kong being very good.

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  5. Hmm...yeah...yeah, she could work. I'll keep an eye on this one.

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  6. I dig the casting big time, and Dominik is definitely a talent to look out for. I just pray that it doesn't suffer from the same borderline sleep-inducing pace that plagued the otherwise brilliant "Jesse James".

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  7. They could definitely have cut some time out of Jesse James and it would have been beyond brilliant! I think the length was the only thing that let the film down.

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  8. I guess that I was one of the few people who felt that the pacing of "Jesse James" worked perfectly to match the mood and feel of the story it told. Obviously something could always be cut out of a film, but I'm not sure I'd want anything in particular to be cut out of a film with so many wonderful scenes.

    On the other hand, I do feel that the same pace would probably not work for "Blonde", and considering that Dominik has only made one other film outside of "Jesse James" ("Chopper", which is only an hour and a half), one really can't say exactly what he has up his sleeve...

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