Despite advance praise from author Joyce Carol Oates and Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux, the release of Blonde – filmmaker Andrew Dominik’s adaptation of Oates’ bestselling novel, loosely based on Marilyn’s life story – remains shrouded in mystery. As Clare Bunton reports for Film Stories today, the movie (shot in 2020, after a decade in development) is conspicuously absent from the line-up for September’s Venice Film Festival.
With no other recent updates, it’s unclear whether Blonde will feature at this fall’s major festivals in New York and Toronto. The festival circuit helps to build a critical buzz, and to be eligible for next year’s awards season, a limited theatrical release by the end of 2021 is required, in addition to streaming on Netflix.
Furthermore, no official ‘first look’ stills have yet appeared – only a few grainy paparazzi shots of leading lady Ana de Armas on the set. (The image above shows the cover art for a new German edition of the novel, inspired by LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt’s 1953 shoot with Marilyn.)