Director Andrew Dominik has been developing an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates‘ acclaimed novel Blonde for the last few years. Oates’ epic novel is a fictionalised account of the life of Marilyn Monroe, and with any film focusing on a celebrity figure, it’s key the right actor is on board to capture them. Until now, Dominik has had trouble finding his lead.
However, Collider reports that Blade Runner 2049 star Ana de Armas is his choice to play Monroe. She portrayed Ryan Gosling‘s holographic love interest, Joi, in that film.
Netflix is developing the Blonde adaptation. Dominik has written the script and will produce along with Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner‘s Plan B. Pitt and Dominik previously worked together on The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and Killing Them Softly.
Dominik previously made the bold claim that Blonde “will be one of the ten best movies ever made”. He’s working from fantastic source material, as Oates’ 2000 novel is her magnum opus. It’s not a typical biopic by an means, focusing more on Monroe’s depiction as a celebrity image, her desire to be loved, and the split between her private and public self.
The project has a long development history. Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain were both previously attached to portray Monroe. While de Armas might not have the star power of those two, her career has quietly developed over the last few years. She appeared in Eli Roth‘s Knock Knock and Todd Phillips‘ War Dogs, while she’ll also have a role in Rian Johnson‘s upcoming mystery, Knives Out.
Dominik, having already helmed an untraditional western with Jesse James, is a good choice to direct the similarly unique Blonde. Netflix doesn’t feel like the best home considering the epic, cinematic nature of the novel, but should the film go ahead it will likely be given a short theatrical window anyway.
There are conflicting reports, but it’s possible that production could begin this summer.