Jessica Chastain Replaces Naomi Watts as Marilyn Monroe in 'Blonde'
Nearly four years ago, Naomi Watts was tapped to play Marilyn Monroe in Blonde, an adaptation of the book of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates that will be directed by Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). However, the actress seems to have fallen away from the project with The Wrap reporting that Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Help) is now getting close to a deal to play the iconic actress. Unlike My Week with Marilyn starring Michelle Williams, this aims to be a more extensive look at Monroe's life, but with a twist from the source material.
The book in question is referred to as a fake memoir because it takes the liberty of being told from the point of view of Monroe with the names of certain well-known male suitors changed to vague descriptions including The Ex-Athlete (Joe DiMaggio), The Playwright (Arthur Miller) and The President (John F. Kennedy). It's fictional, but is highly regarded as being an accurate and intimate portrait of the actress loved by millions, who still remained a fragile young woman struggling with identity in the face of stardom.
Chastain undoubtedly has the chops to play Monroe, and we've seen her as a blonde a couple times, and the resemblance isn't hard to see when she steps into the role. Dominik adapted the book himself, which used many biographical and historical sources to tell the story from Monroe's perspective. This could very well be a film that ends up getting awards attention when the time comes, and that would be good for Brad Pitt and his Plan B production banner, fresh off their Best Picture win for 12 Years a Slave. Either way, with four years passing since the project surfaced, this just goes to show you how hard it is to get a film off the ground, even with fantastic talent involved in front of and behind the camera. Production begins in August.