What is it about Hollywood that no sooner does somebody have a good idea, then it turns out that somebody has had the same brainwave. Now it’s rival Marilyn Monroe biopics. Wild Bunch, the French sales agent has announced here that it’s handling international sales on Blonde, an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ imaginary Marilyn Monroe memoir. Naomi Watts, who arrives in Cannes for Fair Game, will play Marilyn. Director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James) and producer Anthony Bregman of Likely Story (Synecdoche New York) plan to start shooting the $20 million film in January 2011.
The Weinstein Company has its own Marilyn project, My Week With Marilyn, due to begin filming in late September. Michelle Williams will play Marilyn. This one’s about the time Monroe spent in England shooting The Prince and the Showgirl opposite Laurence Olivier. Ralph Fiennes was going to play Olivier but dropped out to direct his film version of Coriolanus. The film is being produced by David Parfitt, who won an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love. The director is Simon Curtis. Scarlett Johansson turned down playing Marilyn before Williams, thinking that recreating such a screen icon would just be a thankless task. Parfitt tells me that he’s now casting in London. How about Hugh Jackman to play Olivier? Wouldn’t he bring a touch of urbane sexiness to Larry?