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Jessica Chastain Will Go 'Blonde' for Andrew Dominik as Marilyn Monroe: What's Next?

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by Ryan Lattanzio
April 23, 2014 1:28 PM
4 Comments
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Jessica Chastain

Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain has a most busy year coming up. This fall, we'll see her in Christopher Nolan's ambitious sci-fi "Interstellar" (November 7) and, hopefully on the festival circuit at least, in director Liv Ullman's Strindberg adaptation "Miss Julie." Also in post-production is director JC Chandor's "A Most Violent Year," a gritty urban thriller set in the '80s and starring Chastain, Oscar Isaac and Albert Brooks, from A24.

What's more? "Killing Them Softly" director Andrew Dominik has found his Marilyn Monroe. Chastain will play her in Dominik's "Blonde," adapted from Joyce Carol Oates' tome about Monroe's first life as Norma Jeane Baker. Brad Pitt's Plan B will produce, and Dominik has adapted the screenplay himself. The script is said to be locked, but the film is still without a start date.

Currently, Chastain is in the midst of filming auteur Guillermo del Toro's domestic horror film "Crimson Peak," opposite Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam and Mia Wasikowska (dream cast? Yes please). As seen in last year's underrated "Mama," Chastain does well in horror and in spite of her awards prestige -- from buzzy roles in "The Help" to "Zero Dark Thirty" -- isn't afraid to flex her genre-film muscles. We won't see "Crimson" until Fall 2015 at the earliest.

Ever the workhorse, Chastain, who's 37, is locked for two other films now in pre-production: the currently directorless "The Zookeeper's Wife," about a family's noble efforts during WWII, and Thaddeus O'Sullivan's "The Secret Scripture," opposite Vanessa Redgrave's deteriorating mental patient. We loved watching her unravel in Jeff Nichols' 2011 "Take Shelter"; surely, she'll nail it again.

Hitting la Croisette this May is her Toronto hit romance "Eleanor Rigby," from writer/director Ned Benson and costarring James McAvoy. The ambitious, two-part film, which played TIFF last Fall as a work-in-progress, chronicles the ups and downs of a romance. A new, two-hour cut will debut in Cannes' Un Certain Regard sidebar.

While we eagerly await her burgeoning slate, check out a first look at "A Most Violent Year" here.

4 Comments

  • Ska-triumph | April 26, 2014 2:45 PMReply

    Thanks goodness the ELEANOR RIGBY (a hit, really?) is getting cut. I saw the full two-part 3 hours-plus cut at a screening and it was narrarive torture. Even with the textured performances between Chastain and her various cast mates, particularly Davis, Weixler and McAvoy. All the rest of this news is lovely.

  • screenwriter | April 23, 2014 5:30 PMReply

    Thanks for the edit, Ryan!

  • screenwriter | April 23, 2014 4:25 PMReply

    Did you really call the Zabinski family "do-gooders"? That term reeks of sarcasm. The family is still living, as are the children of the refugees they saved. (ps - no mention of 'Eleanor Rigby' going to Cannes? pps -- Jessica does not play 'a deteriorating mental patient' in 'The Secret Scripture.' The older role, the patient, may be played by Vanessa Redgrave. Jessica will play the younger version, not the woman in the institution.)

  • Ryan Lattanzio | April 23, 2014 4:59 PM

    While I did not mean the term pejoratively, I would hate to think I misrepresented them. Thanks for the tip.

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