Jessica Chastain Replaces Naomi Watts as Marilyn Monroe in ‘Blonde’

By April 22, 2014

Despite the fact that there have been a large number of biopics made about dozens of distinctly different musicians, celebrities, actors, politicians, authors, and other influential figures, these films often follow the same plot structure: chart the rise to prominence, peek behind the curtain at the drugs and sex that often pop up when these people reach their most popular, and then, like clockwork, trace their downfall while ending on a high note about the subject’s lasting legacy. Occasionally, though, you’ll hear about a project that strays from that familiar structure – and when that happens, the results have the potential to be very exciting.

Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs script, which we’ve detailed numerous times on this site, is one such project. It takes place basically in real time over three different thirty minute chunks of time before a different Apple product release, and it should provide an interesting alternative to the technology icon’s life than the traditional straight-ahead narrative we’d expect. Similarly, writer/director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Killing Them Softly) has something different in mind when it comes to Blonde, his long-gestating biopic about another icon, Marilyn Monroe. Dominik described the film to The Playlist as “a really sprawling, emotional nightmare fairy-tale type movie,” and that sounds like a hell of a different take on the life of Norma Jeane Baker than what we got in My Week With Marilyn a few years ago.

Jessica Chastain blonde

Naomi Watts had been lined up to star as Monroe for years, but she fell away from the film last year, and now The Wrap reports that Jessica Chastain is close to signing a deal to take over in the lead role. No offense to Ms. Watts, but I’d call that an upgrade, mostly because Chastain is one of my favorite working actresses in Hollywood. She absolutely crushed it in Zero Dark Thirty, and I’m still not entirely over the fact that she didn’t win an Oscar for that role. The Assassination of Jesse James is such a great film, and I’m psyched about seeing what Chastain can do as she teams up with Dominik and they put their stamp on one of the most famous movie stars of all time.

What do you think?

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.