There's never been an actress more iconic than Marilyn Monroe. The blonde beauty is among the most famous and recognizable movie stars in history, a singular presence who radiated charm, mystique, and sexiness during every burning moment on screen. Her story is unique and yet, there's also something rather distinctly universal about her hardships. A lot has been written and said about Norma Jeane Baker, but few movies — if any — have recaptured her dynamic brilliance. Hopefully, that will change with Blonde, Andrew Dominik's audacious adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' acclaimed 1999 novel.
Starring Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe, Netflix's biopic is highly anticipated, though not a lot is known about the forthcoming film. But we do know some key details, which we'll share with you now. Here's what we know about Andrew Dominik's latest feature.
Blonde Is Expected To Come To Netflix In 2022
It hasn't been an easy road for Blonde. The long-awaited movie (as we'll discuss in more detail later) has been in the works for over two decades, and while it wrapped production back in 2019, it's not expected to come out until sometime in 2022. While many folks were hoping that Andrew Dominik's latest film would be a major player at this year's awards circuit, it sounds like the movie might be more of a critical darling than a commercial hit. No matter. We'll simply have to wait to see how the movie fares.
The Film Stars Ana De Armas As The Blonde Bombshell
It's an incredibly daunting task to step into the famous high-heeled shoes of Marilyn Monroe. The actress is more than a famous face; she's a symbol, an icon who defies and idealized the beauty standards of Hollywood for generations to come, while also embodying everything alluring and terrifying about the nature of the business. It's a lofty role to play, but rising star Ana de Armas is up to the challenge. The stunning actress was quick to dazzle and impress with Blade Runner 2049 and Knives Out, and she has several notable movies on the horizon, including this one. De Armas claimed that this performance was easily her most collaborative to date, and hopefully, it's also her best.
Blonde Is Based On The Best-Selling Novel By Joyce Carol Oates, Who Called An Early Cut ‘Brilliant’ And ‘Utterly Feminist’
As a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates earned no shortage of praise when it was published two decades ago. Though it doesn't claim to be a factually honest recounting of Marilyn Monroe's life, the award-nominated author has taken bits and pieces from Monroe's real story and pierced them into an expansive novel filled with lyrical intuitiveness. Certainly, the novel made a great impression on writer/director Andrew Dominik, as he has worked very hard to bring this dramatized reimagining about one of Hollywood's greatest icons to the silver screen. Thankfully, Oates had many kind things to say about a rough cut that she saw last year.
On Twitter, Joyce Carol Oates celebrated Andrew Dominik's forthcoming adaptation by calling it "startling, brilliant, very disturbing and perhaps most surprisingly an utterly ‘feminist’ interpretation." The author noted that she's "not sure that any male director has ever achieved anything [like] this.” Moreover, Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter of Tony Curtis, also saw an early cut and hailed, "Ana was completely gone. She was Marilyn."
This Is A Bold Re-Imagining Of The Private Life Of One Of The World’s Most Famous Silver Screen Icons
In Hollywood, reality and legend often blend together. It's hard to know what's real and what's fiction in the private lives of the rich and glamorous; in fact, in some ways, that ambiguity can add to the appeal. Certainly, Marilyn Monroe's legacy is defined by her great accomplishments and her melancholic mysteries. We may never truly know the full story of one of the most well-known people to ever grace this planet. In that respect, Joyce Carol Oates' Blonde wasn't designed to be a biography. Similarly, while this film is technically a biopic, it'll also be an interpretative re-imagining of this silver screen icon. It's more about capturing the emotional honesty rather than the total factual accuracy.
Blonde Has Been A Decade-Long Passion Project For Acclaimed Filmmaker Andrew Dominik
Ever since his filmmaking career began with 2000's explosively exhilarating Chopper, writer/director Andrew Dominik has expressed a great interest in adapting Joyce Carol Oates' Blonde. While Dominik continued to find critical success with his follow-up films like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Killing Them Softly, and One More Time with Feeling, this passion project remained intangible — until now.
Thanks to the deep pockets at Netflix, Andrew Dominik will finally realize his vision, and he has high hopes, to say the least. He even told Collider that he thinks it could be "one of the ten best movies ever made." It has taken 22 years, but the film is on the horizon.
Here's the full quote:
The Supporting Cast Includes Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson, And Scoot McNairy
In addition to Ana de Armas taking on the lead role, Blonde will feature the supporting talents of Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson, Scoot McNairy, Caspar Phillipson, Sara Paxton, Evan Williams, Lily Fisher, Toby Huss, David Warshofksy, and Xavier Samuel. More specifically, Brody will play "The Playwright," Cannavale is "The Ex-Athlete," Nicholson is Gladys, Phillipson is "The President," and Fischer will also star as a young Norma Jeane. We'll learn more about the other parts closer to its 2022 release.
Blonde Is Produced By Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt has been a key player in Andrew Dominik's filmmaking career, particularly as he produced and starred in 2007's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and 2012's Killing Them Softly. Now, Pitt will reunite with the acclaimed director once more, albeit only behind the camera this time around. Indeed, the Oscar-winning actor is one of the producers behind this sure-to-be bold retelling of Marilyn Monroe's life story, and he played a big hand in making sure that the movie got made. Hopefully, this newest film proves to be as successful as their previous collaborations.
The Movie Will Reportedly Feature Very Little Dialogue And It’ll Be ‘An Avalanche Of Images And Events’
Though Andrew Dominik claims that Blonde will be a little "more accessible" than his previous four movies, Blonde will take an unconventional approach when it comes to dramatizing the life of Marilyn Monroe. As the director explained during a retrospective screening of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, the film will feature "very little dialogue." Rather, it'll be "an avalanche of images and events." Granted, this line was from 2013; it's possible that Dominik's vision has changed. But this quote gives us a good idea of what we might expect from this fictionalized biopic.
Netflix’s Blonde Explores Marilyn Monroe As ‘A Central Figure In A Fairytale,’ According To Andrew Dominik
As we've noted before, Andrew Dominik's Blonde won't stick to the facts when it comes to Marilyn Monroe's tragic life. While that decision will probably divide audiences, the filmmaker has made it clear throughout the years that he wants his film to be seen as something of a glitzy fairytale — an exploration into the beauty and terrors of celebrity, and the wonders and woes that come with being such a singular, spellbinding success.
As the director detailed 10 years prior to ScreenDaily, Marilyn Monroe "embodies all the injustices visited upon the feminine" and he considers her to be "a Cinderella, consigned to live among the ashes." Suffice to say, Andrew Dominik has lofty ambitions for this dramatic adaptation, and he has given us only a small taste of what we'll get with his movie. Will the final product live up to all those towering hopes and heights? We'll see.
Here's the director's full quote:
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.