Ana de Armas is picking up steamier and steamier roles lately. Deep Water — a psychological thriller in which the actress’ character has an intense affair with Ben Affleck — premiered earlier this month on Hulu. Now, the actress is getting ready for her premiere in the Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde on Netflix later this year, and apparently the film is going to make Deep Water look like Reading Rainbow. It’s been confirmed that Blonde will bear the rarely given rating of NC-17.
As reported by Movie Web, the Motion Picture Association has officially stamped Blonde with an NC-17 rating. There had already been rumors that the film would attract the controversial rating, but without confirmation. The news likely comes as no surprise to director Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly). Speaking to ScreenDaily last month, Dominik specifically referred to the biopic as “an NC-17 movie about Marilyn Monroe.” The director also doesn’t seem to have a lot of concern about the rating. Dominik continued, “It’s kind of what you want, right? I want to go and see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story. It’s a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the f—–g audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office.“
Andrew Dominik has plenty of reasons to feel satisfied with the rating for the Ana de Armas flick. While there was a time that an NC-17 rating was seen as the death knell for any movie, it hardly matters in the age of streaming. How many pre-teens and toddlers were itching to watch the biopic about the actress who died 60 years ago anyway?
While many are referring to the upcoming Ana de Armas movie as a “biopic” and will no doubt continue to do so, it would be a mistake to consider it a biography. The film is based on the 2000 historical novel Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates, who — using research on the late Monroe — wrote a fictionalized version of the actress’ life and death. Among other things, Oates folds into her story a conspiracy theory that Robert F. Kennedy had something to do with Monroe’s death. In the novel the various famous figures in Monroe’s life are referred to mostly with codenames. For example, her Some Like It Hot co-star Tony Curtis is referred to as C. The late Arthur Miller, Monroe’s husband, is referred to as “The Playwright.”
Netflix has yet to announce a firm release date for Blonde, though it’s expected to stream some time this year. The film is directed and written by Andrew Dominik. Along with Ana de Armas starring as Marilyn Monroe; the film will also star Adrien Brody (The Pianist) as Arthur Miller, Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man) as Joe DiMaggio, Julianne Nicholson (I. Tonya) as Monroe’s mother Gladys Pearl Baker, Caspar Phillipson (Mission: Impossible — Fallout) as John F. Kennedy, Toby Huss (Halt and Catch Fire) as Monroe’s makeup artist Whitey Snyder, David Warshovsky (Now You See Me) as film producer Darryl F. Zanuck, Michael Masini (Birds of Prey) as Tony Curtis, and more.