Update: Stalked: Watts as Marilyn Monroe, Blige as Nina Simone
Naomi Watts is set to play Marilyn Monroe in a biographical story of her life and at the same time Mary J. Blige is set to star as Nina Simone in a biographical film about her life.
It's interesting looking at these two films and how the talent lines up against the person they are set to play.
Now updated with an alleged test picture of Watts as Monroe.
We have a real-life singer, and in Mary J. Blige one hell of a singer, set to play the part of a real-life singer, obviously to play the part of Nina Simone you really do need someone who can sing, someone who can give as much as she did during her performances, and I just don't think that these days you could really afford to have an actress lip syncing for a singer on screen.
There's another aspect of course, personal knowledge and understanding, for who better to play someone that someone who has had similar life experiences than the person they're playing? There's going to be a great connection between actress and role here, and I can't help but think that this casting choice is even better than getting the best character actress they could possibly.
The news from The Hollywood Reporter tells us that it's not so much focused on her life and achievements, but more her relationship with assistant Clifton Henderson, who will be played by David Oyelowo, a superb actor in his own right.
Sounds great, but isn't a bit of a shame that the story isn't more about her, her life and career?
On the other side of the coin we have a story from ScreenDaily Naomi Watts set to play the legendary Marilyn Monroe in a film called Blonde, a film that will adapt Joyce Carol Oates’ imaginary memoirs of the star. What's more is that Andrew Dominik is set to direct, and he previously directed the amazing The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Chopper. Now think on that for a second, that doesn't sound like your average, run of the mill biographical film.
Dominik spoke of the film and his desire to make it.
”I want to tell the story of Norma Jean as a central figure in a fairytale; an orphan child lost in the woods of Hollywood, being consumed by that great icon of the twentieth century...
...For men she is an object of sexual desire that is desperately in need of rescue. For women, she embodies all the injustices visited upon the feminine, a sister, a Cinderella, consigned to live among the ashes.”
It's an interesting view, and from all accounts an interesting novel, and Dominik makes very interesting and engaging films, and they've picked a great actress to play the part, not going for any similarities, but picking a strong and believable character actress that really could pull off the character of Monroe without relying on all those things on the outside of the person, everything that made her what she was in a picture and on screen.
Both are very different approaches, and both look like they are going to work equally well, although to be honest the Blonde project sounds as though it's much further forward, and with a cracking director too.
Update: A promotional image, allegedly, of Naomi Watts has appeared online for the Marilyn Monroe film she's set to star in, Blonde, and looking at it the first thing that pops into your head is that she doesn't look anything like Monroe, she's too thin. You can see the image over at Allocine through The Playlist. See what you think, but she most definitely is way too thin to play Monroe, watch the pounds pile on before production.