Having a friend in Brad Pitt certainly isn’t a bad thing. The actor has used his superstar clout to get difficult, hard to finance movies made — often choosing to produce them himself via his Plan B shingle — and among his many filmmaker and actor pals, he’s forged a strong relationship with Aussie helmer Andrew Dominik. The pair first teamed up on the existential western “The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford” where the actor used his sway with the studio to keep the lengthy title for the film, and stuck by the director’s side during the fraught editing sessions. And just a couple of weeks ago, they hit the Cannes Film Festival with the searing and brilliant “Killing Them Softly,” another ambitious effort produced by and starring Pitt. And it looks like the bromance will continue.
24 Frames reports that Pitt is now set to back to Dominik’s long brewing Marilyn Monroe biopic “Blonde,” a film the director told us during Cannes that he hoped to make as his next movie. Well, with Pitt now throwing his weight behind the movie as a producer (whether or not he’ll take a role as well hasn’t been decided yet), the wheels are fully turning on “Blonde” and while nothing is locked down just yet, a January or February 2013 shoot for the movie is apparently feasible. But they’ll need to find a new leading lady.
While Naomi Watts became attached to the film in it’s earliest incarnation, the paper says “it’s likely that the filmmakers would go in a different direction.” It’s not clear why she’s no longer involved — she would’ve been great for the part too with the looks and chops to nail it — but it looks like blonde starlets might want to send their headshots to Plan B’s offices.
Based on the book by Joyce Carol Oates, Dominik famously wrote the script on spec before securing the rights to the novel (which was already adapted into a 2001 TV mini-series starring Poppy Montgomery), but it looks like the risky gamble is beginning to pay off. Unlike the slice-of-a-life take of the Michelle Williams starring “My Week With Marilyn,” “Blonde” is expected to be much bigger in scope. And certainly that’s what Dominik indicated to us. “It’s a really sprawling, emotional nightmare fairy-tale type movie, and I really want to do it real bad… It’s a story about an abandoned orphan who gets lost in the woods,” he said at Cannes.
And while financing and other elements likely still need to get firmed up, it’s likely many will be looking to see how “Killing Them Softly” does when it opens in September. ‘Jesse James’ barely flickered at the box office, but Dominik is hoping the $15 million budget of ‘Softly’ means it will be able to turn a profit and perhaps open up some doors and opportunities. “I wanted to make a movie that was cheap and could make its money back, because I’d like to keep working with Brad and I’d like us to have more expensive playdates than the last one,” he said. “I would like to make someone some money.” But don’t expect him to direct “Iron Man 4″ as Dominik also adds: “But I don’t want to just make movies. I want to make the movies I want to make.”
As for Pitt, and why he continues to roll with Dominik? “[I] think ‘Jesse’ is going to be the film I’m most proud of when I’m done with this [acting] thing,” he said quite simply. Very high praise indeed.
So buy a ticket for “Killing Them Softly” when it opens on September 21st (you won’t regret it) and let’s hope “Blonde” makes it in front of cameras soon.