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Brad Pitt To Produce Andrew Dominik's Marilyn Monroe Biopic 'Blonde,' Naomi Watts Not Likely To Lead

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by Kevin Jagernauth
June 1, 2012 9:03 AM
11 Comments
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Having a friend in Brad Pitt certainly isn't a bad thing. The actor has used his superstar clout to get difficult, hard to finance movies made -- often choosing to produce them himself via his Plan B shingle -- and among his many filmmaker and actor pals, he's forged a strong relationship with Aussie helmer Andrew Dominik. The pair first teamed up on the existential western "The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford" where the actor used his sway with the studio to keep the lengthy title for the film, and stuck by the director's side during the fraught editing sessions. And just a couple of weeks ago, they hit the Cannes Film Festival with the searing and brilliant "Killing Them Softly," another ambitious effort produced by and starring Pitt. And it looks like the bromance will continue.

24 Frames reports that Pitt is now set to back to Dominik's long brewing Marilyn Monroe biopic "Blonde," a film the director told us during Cannes that he hoped to make as his next movie. Well, with Pitt now throwing his weight behind the movie as a producer (whether or not he'll take a role as well hasn't been decided yet), the wheels are fully turning on "Blonde" and while nothing is locked down just yet, a January or February 2013 shoot for the movie is apparently feasible. But they'll need to find a new leading lady.

While Naomi Watts became attached to the film in it's earliest incarnation, the paper says "it's likely that the filmmakers would go in a different direction." It's not clear why she's no longer involved -- she would've been great for the part too with the looks and chops to nail it -- but it looks like blonde starlets might want to send their headshots to Plan B's offices.

Based on the book by Joyce Carol Oates, Dominik famously wrote the script on spec before securing the rights to the novel (which was already adapted into a 2001 TV mini-series starring Poppy Montgomery), but it looks like the risky gamble is beginning to pay off. Unlike the slice-of-a-life take of the Michelle Williams starring "My Week With Marilyn," "Blonde" is expected to be much bigger in scope. And certainly that's what Dominik indicated to us. "It's a really sprawling, emotional nightmare fairy-tale type movie, and I really want to do it real bad... It's a story about an abandoned orphan who gets lost in the woods," he said at Cannes.

And while financing and other elements likely still need to get firmed up, it's likely many will be looking to see how "Killing Them Softly" does when it opens in September. 'Jesse James' barely flickered at the box office, but Dominik is hoping the $15 million budget of 'Softly' means it will be able to turn a profit and perhaps open up some doors and opportunities. "I wanted to make a movie that was cheap and could make its money back, because I'd like to keep working with Brad and I'd like us to have more expensive playdates than the last one," he said. "I would like to make someone some money." But don't expect him to direct "Iron Man 4" as Dominik also adds:  “But I don't want to just make movies. I want to make the movies I want to make."

As for Pitt, and why he continues to roll with Dominik? "[I] think 'Jesse' is going to be the film I'm most proud of when I'm done with this [acting] thing," he said quite simply. Very high praise indeed.

So buy a ticket for "Killing Them Softly" when it opens on September 21st (you won't regret it) and let's hope "Blonde" makes it in front of cameras soon.

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11 Comments

  • CM | June 6, 2013 12:46 AMReply

    Killing Them Softly was terrible. This likely won't be much better.

  • chumsley | June 5, 2012 6:56 AMReply

    what made u think and rumor watts is not likely to lead? the russian vogue has just published her portrayed-mm photos in its june issue. did the filmmakers say specifically they would go in a different direction for another actress for the role? or they were just referring to other things? Spreading such ungrounded and unconfirmed rumor which is now copied and spread all over the places by other despicable people is both irresponsible and despicable IMO .

  • ojie king | June 3, 2012 2:58 PMReply

    I think January Jones is the choice for the part

  • Camila | June 1, 2012 10:15 PMReply

    I support Naomi Watts, best choice for Monroe

  • kitcon | June 1, 2012 9:43 AMReply

    Apt choice of pic

  • Yod | June 4, 2012 12:04 AM

    Yeah, it's an article about Pitt and Dominik and the picture is of the two of them. Isn't that just genius?

  • MAL | June 1, 2012 9:39 AMReply

    "The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford" is an astonishing film. It amazes me that it was almost completely ignored. It was tremendously well acted, beautifully shot and directed with grace and grandeur. For me, it was reminiscent of Terrence Malick's films, having both great scope and highly focused characters.

  • JD | June 1, 2012 10:16 AM

    It's an incredible feat of visual filmmaking and the characters/performances are fascinating, but it's also surprisingly shallow. I just saw it again a few weeks ago and was reminded of this. Unlike There Will Be Blood (a somewhat likeminded film from the same year), there are no moments of pulverizing insight that resonate outside the walls of the film. Maybe this is why Dominik went so far out of his way to comment on real world dynamics in Killing Them Softly.

  • gonad | June 1, 2012 9:45 AM

    I completely agree. And Chopper is amazing too.

  • Huffy | June 1, 2012 9:27 AMReply

    Shame that Williams ended up in the rather slight My Weekend with Marilyn instead of this, which sounds like so much more.

  • Paul | June 1, 2012 10:33 PM

    Williams was worst choice ever, as a joke

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