Much like Quentin Tarantino’s 2019 Oscar-winning “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Dominik’s “Blonde” includes real footage from Marilyn Monroe’s filmography. Yet lead star Ana de Armas is placed in the films, including “All About Eve,” “Some Like It Hot,” “Don’t Bother to Knock,” and “Niagara.” The iconic “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” scene from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” is also recreated by de Armas. “Blonde” is now in theaters and premieres September 28 on Netflix.
Writer/director Dominik revealed that it was difficult to get permission to use snippets from Monroe’s films, especially the MGM-owned classics.
“The hardest things to get were permissions. So, I put ‘Ana in All About Eve,’ for example, and in ‘Some Like It Hot,’ and we use a bunch of Fox movies,” Dominik told Deadline. “I’ve been working on this for more than a decade with small commissions for these scenes.”
Regarding “Blonde,” Dominik admitted that he “never thought” permission would be granted for Monroe’s movies.
“I got legal permission to do everything I wanted to do. I never thought that would happen,” Dominik said. “I did have to shoot backup versions. Like, for the scene with Ana and Tony Curtis, I had to shoot that with an actor playing Tony in case we couldn’t get permission, but we got it. Same for ‘All About Eve,’ but I really wanted George Sanders.”
Dominik called out former MGM head Jonathan Glickman for first denying the rights to “Some Like It Hot.”
“Even in pre-production, the guy that was running MGM said, ‘Over my dead body can you use anything from ‘Some Like It Hot,'” Dominik said, without mentioning Glickman by name. “But then he got fired and Mike De Luca took over. It was incredibly lucky that there were these brief windows where the guy in charge at Fox and the guy in charge at MGM were sympathetic.”
De Luca joined MGM in 2020 but parted ways with the company in 2022 following the Amazon buyout of the studio. The $8.5 billion merger places MGM intellectual property like “James Bond,” “Basic Instinct,” “Legally Blonde,” “Moonstruck,” “Tomb Raider,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Fargo,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” under Amazon ownership.
For all the details on “Blonde,” click here.