One of the most anticipated film premiering at the upcoming Venice International Film Festival is Blonde, the biopic of beloved Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe. It stars a who's who of names like Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Xavier Samuel, and Julianne Nicholson, introducing Cuban actress Ana de Armas (Knives Out, The Gray Man) as the American bombshell.
The project is directed by Andrew Dominik, the New Zealand-born Australian filmmaker behind films like Killing Them Softly and The Assassination of Jesse James -- both starring Brad Pitt, who incidentally is one of Blonde's producers.
There are already a few controversies brewing around Blonde, as this is the first title produced by Netflix to carry the rarely used American NC-17 rating, the US equivalent of an 18 certificate, for its sexual content. The film's star de Armas has also been criticized for her accent as Marilyn, even though she spent months with a dialect coach to make sure her voice matched the icon's soft tone and sexy American accent.
The film was also rumored to be in the works since 2010, with both Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain in the runnings for the leading role of Norma Jean -- or Norma Jeane as she called in the novel by Joyce Carol Oates. In fact, the book has always been described by Oates as a fictionalized narrative inspired by Monroe’s life, and not a 100% accurate retelling of the legend's adventures, and misadventures. Its use of Marilyn's story to recount the history of Hollywood often toxic obsession with celebrity is one to watch, especially in our social media age, which has only magnified the issues.
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have recorded the musical score for the film.
After the world premiere in Venice, Blonde will begin streaming on Netflix on the 28th of September 2022.