Exclusive: Ana de Armas Eyed to Play Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominik’s ‘Blonde’

     March 14, 2019

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For the last several years, Andrew Dominik has been developing an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates‘ acclaimed novel Blonde at Netflix, and at long last, he has settled on his Marilyn Monroe. Multiple sources tell Collider that Blade Runner 2049 star Ana de Armas is Dominik’s choice to play the Hollywood icon best known for films such as Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Seven Year Itch.

A representative for Netflix could not immediately be reached. Sources caution that while de Armas is in early talks, she does not have a closed deal yet, nor has the project been greenlit yet by the streaming company, though others say production could start as soon as this summer.

Dominik wrote the script and will produce along with Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner‘s Plan B banner. Pitt starred in two of Dominik’s films, The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford and Killing Them Softly. Blonde follows the talented Norma Jeane Mortenson as she blossoms into movie star Marilyn Monroe. But after a series of failed relationships and heartbreaking tragedy, she spirals into drug addiction and mental instability.

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Image via 20th Century Fox

Dominik previously told Collider that he believes Blonde “will be one of the ten best movies ever made,” explaining that “it’s a film about the human condition. It tells the story of how a childhood trauma shapes an adult who’s split between a public and a private self. It’s basically the story of every human being, but it’s using a certain sense of association that we have with something very familiar, just through media exposure. It takes all of those things and turns the meanings of them inside out, according to how she feels, which is basically how we live. It’s how we all operate in the world. It just seems to me to be very resonant. I think the project has got a lot of really exciting possibilities, in terms of what can be done, cinematically.”

Speaking of which, Dominik has also said in past interviews that Blonde will be “a little more accessible than what I’ve done before” even though the film “has very little dialogue in it,” adding that he’s “really excited about doing a movie that’s an avalanche of images and events.”

The project has had a long development history, with Naomi Watts and Jessica Chastain slated to play Marilyn in past incarnations. De Armas may not have the same wealth of experience as a lead, but she has been making a name for herself as a rising star over the past four years. The Cuban actress broke out in Eli Roth‘s infidelity thriller Knock Knock before landing key roles in Todd Phillips‘ arms dealer dramedy War Dogs and, perhaps most memorably, as Ryan Gosling‘s holographic love interest Joi in Denis Villenueve‘s Blade Runner 2049. De Armas has already wrapped several high-profile features including Rian Johnson‘s murder mystery Knives Out and Danny Boyle‘s romantic musical Yesterday, and she’s currently working on Olivier Assayas‘ thriller Wasp Network with Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramirez.

De Armas is represented by CAA, Impression Entertainment and Kuranda Management.

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