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Branagh to play Olivier?

KennethBranagh.jpgIt's fair to say that there are a lot of similarities between Kenneth Branagh and Sir Laurence Olivier, and much of them are related to Shakespeare and their performances in film adaptations of his plays, not least Branagh's Henry V and Olivier's The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France. Phew!

Now there's going to be another more direct connection, he looks set to play Olivier in the film My Week With Marilyn, a film based on the diary of Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier and who looked after Marilyn Monroe during her filming in London of The Prince and the Showgirl.

The Prince and the Showgirl starred Sir Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe playing the parts of the titular characters. My Week With Marilyn will tell the story of Olivier's employee who looked after Monroe when she was in London for the filming.

During the filming Monroe and Olivier didn't get on at all, clashing on set as Olivier tried to get the film made his way, after all he was lead and director, and a hell of a talent. During this time Clark kept diaries of what was happening on set, but when he published excerpts of them in 1958, he kept this week out of them. They were finally published in 2002 and became the basis of the film My Week With Marilyn.

The story from The Playlist also reminds us that Michelle Williams is set to play Marilyn Monroe, which is an unusual choice I think, great actress but it'll be interesting to see the transformation into Monroe, almost as much as seeing what the story will be about Monroe and the difficult relationship with her director and leading actor, Sir Laurence Olivier.

I think it's less likely that we'll have to think too hard to imagine the transformation of Kenneth Branagh to Sir Laurence Olivier, a role that I'd love to see him play, but then I am a mammoth Branagh fan. Let's hope he clears from Thor in time to get this made.

Unfortunately though, Simon Curtis is set to direct the film, not Kenneth Branagh, which I really would have liked to have seen.



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