Berlin-based Barry Films (“Life”) has partnered with Marianne Maddalena (“Scream”) to option rights to “Marilyn 1962,” Sebastien Cauchon’s novel chronicling the last months in the life of icon Marilyn Monroe. The book is being developed as a 10-episode miniseries, with Michel Merkt exec-producing.
The critically acclaimed book, which was published by Editions Stock in France and Chuokoron Shinsha Publishing in Japan, sheds light on what Monroe’s life and psyche was like in the year of her death, through the perspectives of 12 people in her entourage – from her feared publicist to her controversial doctor.
Merkt, the co-producer of Golden Globe-winning “Elle” and Oscar-nominated “Toni Erdmann,” is executive-producing along with Maddalena, whose credits include the series “Scream” based on the horror franchise. Also producing are Wolfgang Mueller and Benito Mueller, who were behind Rafael Palacio Illingworth’s “Between Us,” Anton Corbijn’s “Life,” and Anna Mastro’s “Walter.”
Cauchon, who besides writing books is head of communications at French film promotion organization UniFrance, is serving as co-executive producer on the adaptation.
Cauchon, who has been passionate about Monroe for most of his life, said he got access to archives that have emerged within the last several years at sales auctions. These memorabilia allowed him to identify members of Monroe’s entourage before her death in 1962. He also conducted interviews with photographers such as Bert Stern, George Barris, Douglas Kirkland, Larry Schiller and Bob Willoughby who spoke about their relationships with Monroe and her retinue.
The French Publishers’ Agency holds publication rights to the book in the U.S.
“We are very excited to work on bringing this unexplored, very intimate view on the real person who Marilyn Monroe was to the screen, thanks to the unprecedented insights which Sebastien Cauchon’s meticulously researched book provides,” said Merkt, who was among Variety’s 10 Producers to Watch in 2017.
Previous series about the American icon include “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe” with Susan Sarandon, which earned three Primetime Emmy Award nominations in 2015.