Netflix has released the first evocative images of Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde,” starring Ana de Armas as Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. The film, based on the best-selling novel by Joyce Carol Oates, stands out with its NC-17 rating. The supporting cast includes Bobby Cannavale, Adrien Brody, Julianne Nicholson, Xavier Samuel and Evan Williams.
Netflix’s official ‘Blonde’ synopsis reads:[The film] boldly reimagines the life of one of Hollywood’s most enduring icons, Marilyn Monroe. From her volatile childhood as Norma Jeane, through her rise to stardom and romantic entanglements, “Blonde” blurs the lines between fact and fiction to explore the growing separation between her public and private selves.
“Andrew’s ambitions were very clear from the start – to present a version of Marilyn Monroe’s life through his lens,” de Armas recently told Netflix Queue. “He wanted the world to experience what it was like to be not only Marilyn, but also Norma Jeane. I found it to be the most daring, unapologetic and feminist version of his story that I had never seen.
“We worked on this movie for hours, every day for almost a year,” added de Armas. “I read Joyce’s novel, studied hundreds of photographs, videos, audio recordings, films—everything I could get my hands on. Each scene is inspired by an existing photograph. We were looking at every detail of the photo and debating what was going on in it. The first question was always: “How did Norma Jeane feel here?” We wanted to tell the human side of his story. Fame is what made Marilyn the most visible person in the world, but it also made Norma the most invisible.
The film’s NC-17 rating has reportedly created tension between Dominik and Netflix, but the filmmaker told ScreenDaily in February that he has “nothing but gratitude for Netflix”, noting that the streaming giant backs the title even if he had any problems with his content. Netflix “insisted” on bringing in “Hereditary” and “Tenet” editor Jennifer Lame to “curb the film’s excesses.” Dominik added that “Blonde is” a demanding film. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the fucking audience problem. It’s not about running for public office.
Speaking to Vulture in May, Dominik added of the film, “There’s something in it to offend everyone.”
“Blonde” premieres worldwide on Netflix on September 23. Watch the first images and check out new images from the film below.