Jessica Chastain may soon be adding “biopic” to her already impressive resume, though not in the traditional sense of the word. Per The Wrap, the actress is near a deal to play Marilyn Monroe in The Assassination of Jesse James director Andrew Dominik’s next film Blonde. Though Naomi Watts had previously been attached to play the famous leading lady in the pic, she fell off the project some time ago. The film is not your traditional “cradle-to-grave” story, as Dominik previously described it as a “sprawling, emotional nightmare fairy-tale type movie” and it is based on author Joyce Carol Oates’ historical novel of the same name. Hit the jump for more on this exciting prospect.
Dominik’s frequent collaborator Brad Pitt has been onboard to produce Blonde for some time now, and The Wrap notes that the actor was instrumental in convincing Chastain to sign on. Obviously a figure like Marilyn Monroe comes with incredibly high expectations, but Chastain is an insanely talented actress, so one imagines she certainly has the chops to fill Monroe’s shoes. Moreover, with a filmmaker like Andrew Dominik involved, we can rest assured that Blonde will be anything but bland.
Dominik first made waves with his 2000 film Chopper, but it was his 2007 masterpiece The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford that put him firmly on the map. He crafted a moody, haunting, and powerful portrait of the notorious outlaw that was far from derivative, and I’m eager to see his sensibilities put to work on the fascinating life of Marilyn Monroe. Though Dominik’s bombastic, aggressive 2012 political drama Killing Them Softly failed to catch on with audiences, Blonde will surely turn audiences heads thanks to its subject matter.
Dominik penned the script for Blonde and production is expected to get underway this August. Chastain is currently finishing up filming on Guillermo del Toro’s gothic romance Crimson Peak, and she’ll also be shooting The Zookeeper’s Wife this year in addition to Blonde. As for completed projects, she’ll be seen this fall in Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi pic Interstellar and J.C. Chandor’s drama A Most Violent Year.