Director Andrew Dominik who is on board to helm the Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde says he is still working on the project, and that – despite previous stories – Naomi is still on board to play Monroe. He spoke about the project to various publications recently whilst promoting Killing Them Softly.
Is the Marilyn Monroe film Blonde the next thing you’re hoping to start production on?
DOMINIK: That’s the one I want to do. Yeah, definitely. I’m working on that.
What are the challenges, as a filmmaker, in wanting to tell a story like that, that spans her lifetime?
DOMINIK: I don’t know. She died when she was 36, so you probably need someone in their late 20′s to do the part. There’s a huge chunk when she’s seven, and then the rest of it would all be another actor, who’s the main actor.
And you’re hoping that will be Naomi Watts?
DOMINIK: At this stage, yeah.
“I hope to shoot it next year. Naomi Watts is attached at the moment,” said Dominik. When pushed for more details on his plans for the film, the director told us “it’s best not to talk about it right now.”
Andrew Dominik Aims To Shoot Polanski-Esque Marilyn Monroe Biopic ‘Blonde’ In 2013, Naomi Watts Still Attached
The other day we got to speak to Andrew Dominik, whose genuinely amazing new crime film “Killing Them Softly” opens next week. One thing we wanted to make sure of was, after the seemingly epic gulf of time between his brilliant but criminally under-seen “The Assassination of Jesse James and the Coward Robert Ford” and “Killing Them Softly,” that there was at least something in the works. It turns out that the movie he was originally going to do before “Killing Them Softly” is still very much a go. “I’m going to do this movie called ‘Blonde,’ which is about Marilyn Monroe,” Dominik said.
As to the scope of “Blonde,” don’t expect a “Lincoln”-like sliver of the troubled star’s life. “It’s about her whole life,” Dominik said, definitively. “It starts when she’s seven and it ends when she dies.” Dominik acknowledged that it will be based on the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award nominated novel by Joyce Carol Oates, then clarified his approach to the material. “It’s sort of a Polanski descent-into-madness-type movie,” Dominik explained. “It’s about this orphan girl who gets lost in the woods.”
Those comments echo his earlier description of the movie as an “emotional nightmare fairy tale,” and Dominik sounds genuinely excited about the project. “I love it,” he said. “It’s my dream project and I’ve been working on it for years and years and years.” Given his ability to make real-world characters into genuinely mythological figures, as he did in both ‘Jesse James’ and his first film, the hard-nosed Australian drama “Chopper” (that made a star out of some guy named Eric Bana), it seems like the perfect subject matter for the filmmaker.
When we asked Dominik if he was going to push, visually, into the realm of what-is-reality-what-is-fantasy, Dominik said yes. “It’s very pseudo-Freudian,” he said. “The lines between fantasy and reality become very blurred in the story.” About when the film will actually shoot, Dominik optimistically says, “I’d like to do it next year.” He says he hasn’t hired a cinematographer yet, but that Naomi Watts — who was attached early on, but over the summer seemed like she might have to bow out — is still on board, although, as he said, “Anything can happen.”
We wondered though, if he has another project ready to go, should “Blonde” face another delay (which is how “Killing Them Softly” got bumped up in the pipeline). Dominik says no. “It’s pretty much all about Marilyn at the moment,” he said.