We’re going to have to wait a little longer to watch Blonde, director Andrew Dominik’s long-awaited take on the Marilyn Monroe legend. Starring Ana de Armas as the Hollywood icon, the Netflix film has been pushed to 2022, per Variety.
Blonde was supposed to be a major awards contender this year, and no reason was given for the unexpected delay. Previously, Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux said in an interview with Deadline that Netflix had declined an invitation for Blonde to be screened out-of-competition at this year’s festival, and some had hoped it would show up in the Venice lineup but no dice.
By the time Blonde is actually released, a decade would have passed since Dominik’s last narrative feature, the 2012 crime drama Killing Them Softly starring Brad Pitt. Pitt co-produced Blonde through his Plan B banner, and has previously worked with Dominik on the cult Western, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
Like that film, and unlike the very talky Killing Them Softly, Blonde is said to have very little dialogue. “My previous three movies have relied on a lot of talking and I don’t think there’s a scene in Blonde that’s longer than two pages. I’m really excited about doing a movie that’s an avalanche of images and events. It’s just a different way. It’s a different thing for me to do,” Dominik said during a 2019 Jesse James revival screening Q&A.
Dominik previously told Collider that Blonde “will be one of the ten best movies ever made,” and called it “a film about the human condition.” The Chopper filmmaker went on to describe his take on Monroe‘s story:
“It tells the story of how a childhood trauma shapes an adult who’s split between a public and a private self. It’s basically the story of every human being, but it’s using a certain sense of association that we have with something very familiar, just through media exposure. It takes all of those things and turns the meanings of them inside out, according to how she feels, which is basically how we live. It’s how we all operate in the world. It just seems to me to be very resonant. I think the project has got a lot of really exciting possibilities, in terms of what can be done, cinematically.”
Dominik also wrote the script, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates. The author revealed on Twitter that she’d seen a rough cut of the film, and was blown away by it. She called it “startling, brilliant, very disturbing and perhaps most surprisingly an utterly ‘feminist’ interpretation.”
Dominik has been working on the project for several years. At various stages in development, Blonde had Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts attached to play the Hollywood icon. Michelle Williams earned an Oscar nomination for playing Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, but we all know that the best interpretation of the tragic figure’s life came in the short-lived NBC drama Smash.
Blonde also stars Adrien Brody, Julianne Nicholson, and Bobby Cannavale. No firm release date has been announced yet.