Rival Marilyn Monroe biopics will pit Naomi Watts against Michelle Williams

Rival Marilyn Monroe biopics will pit Naomi Watts against Michelle Williams

As with asteroids, volcanoes, and Truman Capote before her, there are two rival Marilyn Monroe biopics in the works, with their respective producers doing the awkward movie industry version of showing up in the same prom dress. France’s Wild Bunch agency recently announced at Cannes that it is moving forward on Blonde, an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ 2000 historical fiction novel that is not explicitly about Marilyn Monroe but is totally about Marilyn Monroe. Director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford) will helm the picture, with Naomi Watts tapped to play the Marilyn stand-in.

Eyeing them bitterly across the red carpet, immortal beast The Weinstein Company announced that it is moving forward on My Week With Marilyn, focusing on Monroe’s experience shooting The Prince And The Showgirl with Laurence Olivier—who was reportedly so annoyed at having to work with the clearly inferior Monroe that he did everything possible to belittle her (including memorably telling her, "Try and be sexy"), and spent the rest of his life telling everyone that she was a talentless “bitch.” Michelle Williams is said to be playing Marilyn—taking over for Scarlett Johansson after the latter wisely dropped out, due to realizing it would be a “thankless task,” according to Deadline. Producers are currently casting about for who will play Olivier (as first choice Ralph Fiennes also abandoned the project), with an eye on shooting as early as September.

That’s at least three months before Blonde is supposed to start shooting, giving My Week With Marilyn a head start on being the Capote to Blonde’s Infamous. Of course, what it will really come down to is which blonde starlet audiences believe is better suited to play Marilyn, about which some of you no doubt have an opinion. 

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