With Blonde, a fictional Monroe biopic, due for release on Netflix this autumn, the streaming giant is also producing a feature documentary on Marilyn, with a release date yet to be announced. Unlike the recent CNN docuseries, Reframed: Marilyn Monroe, this project – entitled The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Untold Tapes – focuses on her untimely death.
Interestingly, the documentary is also mentioned on the cover of a reissue of Anthony Summers’ Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, out now in the US and UK. In that case, the ‘untold tapes’ may be from the interviews he conducted back in 1982.
I hope the filmmakers will not be caught in the web of misinformation that has often clouded this complex and sensitive topic. Here’s a report by Alex Farber on the UK website, Broadcast Now.
“The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: the Untold Tapes is being produced by Chris Smith and directed by Emma Cooper … Monroe’s death spawned conspiracy theories and rumours which have sometimes overshadowed her talent, but by piecing together her final weeks through previously unheard recordings of those who knew her best, the feature will shed light on her life and offer a new perspective on the night of her death.
The film, ordered by director of original docs Kate Townsend, will feature a mix of archive footage and dramatic reconstruction, although only original footage of Monroe is anticipated. The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe will be produced by Smith’s Library Films and Cooper’s Empress Films.”
UPDATE: Netflix has announced that The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe will be released on April 27 (see here.) Regarding the updated Goddess and its links to the documentary, Anthony Summers has written an article for Vanity Fair, and he has also been interviewed by Publishers’ Weekly.