Netflix has debuted the first evocative footage from Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde,” starring Ana de Armas as Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. The movie, based on the bestselling novel by Joyce Carol Oates, is notable for its NC-17 rating. The supporting cast includes Bobby Cannavale, Adrien Brody, Julianne Nicholson, Xavier Samuel and Evan Williams.
The official “Blonde” synopsis from Netflix 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 of fact and fiction to explore the widening split 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 her lens,” de Armas recently told Netflix Queue. “He wanted the world to experience what it actually felt like to not only be Marilyn, but also Norma Jeane. I found that to be the most daring, unapologetic, and feminist take on her story that I had ever seen.”
“We worked on this film for hours, every single day for almost a year,” de Armas added. “I read Joyce’s novel, studied hundreds of photographs, videos, audio recordings, films — anything I could get my hands on. Every scene is inspired by an existing photograph. We’d pore over every detail in the photo and debate what was happening in it. The first question was always, ‘What was Norma Jeane feeling here?’ We wanted to tell the human side of her 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 reportedly created tension between Dominik and Netflix, but the filmmaker told ScreenDaily in February that he has “nothing but gratitude for Netflix,” noting the streaming giant supported the title even if it had some issues with its content. Netflix “insisted” on bringing in “Hereditary” and “Tenet” editor Jennifer Lame to “curb the excesses of the movie.” Dominik added that “Blonde is “a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the fucking audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office.”
Speaking to Vulture in May, Dominik added about the film: “There’s something in it to offend everyone.”
“Blonde” releases globally on Netflix September 23. Watch the first footage and see new images from the film below.