The gangster drama Killing Them Softly, adapted from the George V. Higgins novel Cogan’s Trade, tells the story of Frankie (Scott McNairy), a broke young crook who’s fresh out of jail, and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn), an Australian junkie who makes a living stealing dogs, who are recruited to steal from a mob-protected card game that’s run by Markie (Ray Liotta). But, even though their plan seems foolproof, the mob feels otherwise and brings in seasoned enforcer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) to send a message. From writer/director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), the film also stars James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Sam Shepard and Vincent Curatola.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, filmmaker Andrew Dominik talked about what he most connected with in this story, how he approached adapting it for the screen, why he wanted Brad Pitt for the film, how easy this impressive cast was to assemble, his approach to the violence, deleted scenes, the test screening process, and film versus digital. He also talked about his desire to make Blonde, about the life of Marilyn Monroe, his next film with Naomi Watts in the lead role. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
In May 2010, we reported about two Marilyn Monroe movies headed into pre-production: Simon Curtis‘ My Week with Marilyn and Andrew Dominik‘s Blonde. Dominik’s film was set to begin shooting in January 2011 with Naomi Watts attached to play the blonde bombshell. However, Dominik’s project stalled, and My Week with Marilyn ended up making it way to theaters first with two Oscar nominations to show for it (Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor). Usually, if two similar projects don’t begin filming around the same time, then the one that didn’t get the green light fades away and the director moves on to something else. That seemed to be the case with Blonde since Dominik decided to go forward with an adaptation of the crime novel Cogan’s Trade, which reunited him with his Assassination of Jesse James star Brad Pitt. The film, entitled Killing Them Softly, recently premiered at Cannes where it received positive reviews.
But it looks like Mr. Dominik hasn’t given up on Blonde, and now Pitt has come aboard to produce. Hit the jump for more. Killing Them Softly is due out in the U.S. on September 21st.
Marilyn Monroe is too big of a cultural icon to have just one more. Deadline reports that two films centering the late model/actress are in the works. The first up is from Andrew Bergman who directed the amazing The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Ford. [Correction: Andrew Dominik directed Assassination of Jesse James; Andrew Bergman is producing. Movie is still amazing.] The film, Blonde, is based Joyce Carol Oates’ imaginary Marilyn Monroe memoir. Filming is set to begin January 2011 with Naomi Watts playing Monroe.
But the Weinstein Company has its own Marilyn Monroe flick in the works. Simon Curtis (The BBC TV series Cranford) will direct My Week with Marilyn late this September. The film is about the time Monroe spent in England shooting The Prince and the Showgirl opposite Laurence Olivier. Michelle Williams will play Monroe in this biopic. Ralph Fiennes was originally set to play Olivier but dropped out to direct and star in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus.
So the question falls to you, dear readers: Who would make a better Marilyn Monroe—Watts or Williams? Or is there another actress who would be an even better choice? While you ponder that, hit the jump to check out my favorite photo of Monroe, taken by Richard Avedon.