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It looks like Watchmen’s “The Comedian” is taking on the role of a baseball God. That’s right, Jeffrey Dean Morgan is ready to put on his cleats and play Yankee Clipper Joe DiMaggio in Lifetime’s new Marilyn miniseries. The new production, simply titled Marilyn, is slated to be a four-hour miniseries based on J. Randy Tarraborrelli’s book “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.” Morgan is the final piece of the puzzle in the production, which already has a pretty impressive pedigree. Susan Sarandon and Emily Watson are also signed on in supporting roles. DiMaggio, who would have turned 100 years old this week, is one of the greatest known baseball players of all time and was the second husband to actress Marilyn Monroe.
Morgan is a smart choice for the role of DiMaggio who is coming off the well-received but short-lived STARZ cable series Magic City. He's also been in a slew of other projects, including Showtime’s hit Shameless and Weeds. It will be interesting to see Morgan play the Yankees legend, especially since the project won't be focused on DiMaggio as a baseball icon. Instead, he'll also be a man desperate for love and a family. No word on just how big Morgan’s role in the miniseries is going to be, but with his name now attached, it is presumed that the DiMaggio marriage will be an integral part of the story--especially since we know how wild that relationship really was while it lasted.
The 9-month marriage between DiMaggio and Monroe was a dizzying affair of love and jealousy, ending with Joe D. still madly in love with the bombshell. At the time of the marriage, DiMaggio had just retired from baseball and was looking for a wife to settle down with and have a family. However, Monroe’s star was on the rise. She would eventually become one of the most insanely popular actresses in history, and marriage to DiMaggio didn't fit into her career plan. Rumors also swirled that the whirlwind marriage ended because of possible emotional abuse and physical violence, but because of the time period, much of the details were swept under the rug. This new Lifetime production plans to delve deeper into the relationship between DiMaggio and Marilyn exploring their love and bitter break up. It is well-known that DiMaggio, who never married again, was obsessed with Marilyn even after the split.
The Hall of Famer reportedly never stopped loving Marilyn and was her rock (even after divorcing) as she spiraled deeper into the world of drug and alcohol abuse. Although he did everything in his power to save her from herself, it was for naught. According to THR, DiMaggio famously had red roses delivered to her grave every week until his death in 1999 at the age of 84. Playing the role of Marilyn will be up-and-comer Kelli Garner, whose most notable credit is as a regular on ABC’s defunct series Pan Am. The miniseries plans to delve deeper into Marilyn’s life out of the spotlight in a world that could not get enough of her.
Writer Stephen Kronish is set to write the miniseries; his previous work includes 24 and ironically The Kennedys. Sherrybaby director Laurie Collyer is helming the project, as well. Jonathan Koch, Steven Michaels, Keri Selig and Kronish will executive produce. Marilyn is already in pre-production and is set to premiere on Lifetime in late 2015.