Netflix's upcoming Marilyn Monroe biopic recently received an official NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association for "sexual content", making it the first Netflix Original movie to get the rare adults-only rating.
Blonde, which stars Ana de Armas (Deep Water) as the iconic actress and pinup model, is coming to Netflix this year, and director/writer Andrew Dominik previously predicted that the film would get an NC-17 rating, telling Screen Rant, “It’s a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the fucking audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office. It’s an NC-17 movie about Marilyn Monroe, it’s kind of what you want, right? I want to go and see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story.”
Development for Blonde started in 2010, and production for the movie began in August 2019. Now that we have a release year, it seems that principal photography is complete, and it's currently now in post-production.
Here's everything we know so far about Netflix's Blonde:
Blonde Release Date: When will this movie be released on Netflix?
According to the list of movies coming to Netflix in 2022, the streamer confirmed that Blonde will be released this year, and on June 16, the streamer revealed its exact U.S. release date: September 23, but it has been pushed back by a few days to September 28, 2022.
You can check out the exact release time (based on your time zone) here.
The movie is set to premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on Sept. 8, and is set to be released in New York City on Sept. 16.
The film was also released in select theaters for a limited time.
When Vulture asked director Andrew Dominik if Netflix is worried about the film, the filmmaker said, “They’re paying $400 million for movies. A little $22 million movie, it’s not going to break the bank for Netflix. They just want to get their sort of marketing plan in order, I think, before they start rolling it out. Then we’ve got to work out how they want it to enter the world. It’s not going to come out ’til September. We shouldn’t even be talking about it. [Laughs] By the time Blonde comes out, everyone’s going to be sick of talking about it.
Blonde Plot: What will it be about?
Blonde is described to be a biopic of the late American celebrity Marilyn Monroe. The movie is based on Joyce Carol Oates’ 2000 novel, which is a 700-page fictionalized take on Monroe’s life, which The New Yorker once dubbed “the definitive study of American celebrity.”
Netflix released this synopsis for Blonde:
Ana de Armas embodies the platinum bombshell in Andrew Dominik’s adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ acclaimed book of the same name. The movie tells “the boldly reimagined private story of the world’s most famous sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe. The film is a fictional portrait of the model, actress and singer during the ’50s and ’60s, told through the modern lens of celebrity culture.” Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson and Adrien Brody co-star.
Speaking to Collider in 2016, writer/director Andrew Dominik said this about Blonde:
It’s a film about the human condition. It tells the story of how a childhood trauma shapes an adult who’s split between a public and a private self. It’s basically the story of every human being, but it’s using a certain sense of association that we have with something very familiar, just through media exposure. It takes all of those things and turns the meanings of them inside out, according to how she feels, which is basically how we live. It’s how we all operate in the world. It just seems to me to be very resonant. I think the project has got a lot of really exciting possibilities, in terms of what can be done, cinematically.
In May 2022, director Andrew Dominik told Vulture that he thought he was playing in the R-rated territory when making Blonde.
“I was surprised. Yeah. I thought we’d colored inside the lines,” Dominik said about the film's NC-17 rating. “But I think if you’ve got a bunch of men and women in a boardroom talking about sexual behavior, maybe the men are going to be worried about what the women think. It’s just a weird time. It’s not like depictions of happy sexuality. It’s depictions of situations that are ambiguous. And Americans are really strange when it comes to sexual behavior, don’t you think? I don’t know why. They make more porn than anyone else in the world.”
Blonde Cast: Who's starring in this Netflix movie?
According to IMDb, here's a list of cast members starring in Blonde and the characters they play:
- Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe
- Adrien Brody as The Playwright
- Bobby Cannavale as The Ex-Athlete
- Julianne Nicholson as Gladys
- Caspar Phillipson as The President
- Sara Paxton as Miss Flynn
- Toby Huss as Whitey
- Rebecca Wisocky as Yvet
- Xavier Samuel as Cass
- David Warshofsky as Mr. Z
- Evan Williams as Eddy
- Catherine Dent as Jean
- Lily Fisher as Young Norma Jeane
- Michael Masini as Tony Curtis
- Luke Whoriskey as James Dean
Several cast changes were made for the actress who plays Marilyn Monroe. Initially, Naomi Watts was cast, then Jessica Chastain.
Blonde Trailer: Has Netflix released a teaser or any footage yet?
On June 16, Netflix has released the first trailer for Blonde, which gives us our first look at Armas as the iconic actress.
Watch the trailer for Blonde below:
On July 28, Netflix released a new trailer for Blonde, which gives you more footage from the upcoming Marilyn Monroe biopic:
At the time of this writing, there's not much to go for Blonde, but in March 2021, de Armas had discussed the not-so-glamarous transformation during an interview with Byrdie.
“I had to go bald every day, because with the blonde wigs… [Marilyn] went through different shades of blonde from golden to really platinum, so for these wigs that are beautifully made, you can’t have anything dark underneath, so we had to make a bald cap every single day from my forehead to [around] my whole head,” she explained to the publication.
“It was like, three and a half hours every day of makeup. I think I actually cried the first time I saw [the wigs] on. Probably because I was terrified,” she added. “But, I’m so proud.”
Netflix also released the first batch of images from Blonde following the first trailer's release:
How can I watch Blonde?
Blonde will exclusively be available to stream on Netflix. The film was released on Sept. 16 for the highly-anticipated Cannes Film Festival.
Why did Blonde get an NC-17 rating?
The Motion Picture Association officially gave Blonde a rare NC-17 rating, citing "some sexual content". In doing so, they've made Netflix history: While the streamer has played host to various NC-17 movies in the past, it's never produced one.
"Some sexual content" probably refers to nudity and sex scenes, but the film is not just a steamy romp like 365 Days: This Day. The film is expected to depict a rape scene featured in Oates's novel, prompting Netflix to "insist" on hiring another editor to "curb the excesses of the movie". We still don't know what else fell into that category, and Dominik shut down what Screen Daily described as "a scene featuring bloody menstrual oral sex"
Ana de Armas disagrees with the NC-17 rating. "I didn't understand why that happened. I can tell you a number of shows or movies that are way more explicit with a lot more sexual content than Blonde," she said during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "But to tell this story it is important to show all these moments in Marilyn's life that made her end up the way that she did. It needed to be explained. Everyone [in the cast] knew we had to go to uncomfortable places. I wasn't the only one."
During an interview with Variety, de Armas said that she appeared nude in the film. "I know what's going to go viral," de Armas told the outlet, "and it's disgusting."
She added: "It's upsetting just to think about it. I can't control it; you can't really control what they do and how they take things out of context."