Hollywood continues to explore Marilyn Monroe’s life

Monday, August 18th, 2014. Filed under: Books Entertainment Film Hollywood Stars
Marilyn Monroe died on August 5, 1962 at age 36. ©AFP PHOTO

Marilyn Monroe died on August 5, 1962 at age 36.
©AFP PHOTO

(Relaxnews) – Variety reported last week that Lifetime is preparing a miniseries on Marilyn Monroe. The drama will join an ever-expanding list of movies and TV productions focusing on the iconic actress.

Fascinating during her lifetime, the star is at least as much so 52 years after her death. Born Norma Jean, the American actress who died on August 5, 1962 at age 36 has been the object of many a fantasy over the years, and countless directors have attempted to bring their own versions of the Marilyn Monroe myth to the screen.

A complex mother-daughter relationship for Lifetime

The latest project on the subject, Lifetime’s miniseries will be based on J. Randy Taraborrelli’s best-selling book “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe,” which will be adapted by screenwriter Stephen Kronish. The drama will explore the star’s complex relationships with her biological mother, her adoptive mother and her legal guardian, all set against the backdrop of her mental illness and her connections to the Kennedy family. Currently titled “Marilyn,” the series is to be directed by Laurie Collyer.

A poetic and witty “Blonde”

Already adapted for the small screen in 2001 by Joyce Chopra with Poppy Montgomery in the title role, Joyce Carol Oates’s novel “Blonde” is now headed for a film adaptation to be directed by Andrew Dominik (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”). Jessica Chastain is reportedly circling the project and could take the title role, stepping in for Naomi Watts, who was previous attached.

A woman in love in “My Week with Marilyn”

Released in 2012, Simon Curtis’s feature was adapted from two books by Colin Clark, who was played in the film by Eddie Redmayne. The author recounts the tumultuous production of “The Prince and the Showgirl” and his brief but intense love affair with Marilyn Monroe. Michelle Williams won the Golden Globe for best actress and was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as the fragile and unstable starlet.

Behind the scenes of a musical

Produced by Steven Spielberg, the TV series “Smash” followed the chaotic development of a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, including a feud between two actresses played by Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty. Premiered in 2012, the musical series was canceled after one season.

Not to mention…

Misty Rowe played Norma Jean and her famous alter ego in the movies “Goodbye, Norma Jean” (1976) and “Goodnight, Sweet Marilyn” (1989). Catherine Hicks, before playing the mother on “7th Heaven,” portrayed the starlet in the TV movie “Marilyn Monroe: The Untold Story” in 1980, the same year that Melody Anderson played her in “This Year’s Blonde,” also made for the small screen.

Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd were the stars of “Norma Jean & Marilyn,” a TV movie aired on HBO in 1996. The former played the actress while she was in the public eye, while the latter played the everyday girl next door, Norma Jean.

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