Netflix’s new Marilyn Monroe biopic, which stars Ana de Armas, is receiving the incredibly rare NC-17 rating.
As detailed by The Hollywood Reporter, the film is titled Blonde, and received the rating from the Motion Picture Association due to “some sexual content.” While Netflix has had NC-17 rated movies streaming before, this marks the first time it’s actually produced a movie that’s received the rating. For anyone unfamiliar, NC-17 means absolutely no one under the age of 17 can be admitted to the movie, which means it simply isn’t worth showing for most theatres, due to the limited demographic that will see it.
The film is based on a novel of the same name, released in 2000 and written by Joyce Carol Oates. While the novel is loosely based on real events, Oates has stressed in the past that it’s a work of fiction and shouldn’t be regarded as a biography. Oates’ novel has received wide acclaim since it was released, and is considered one of the best works by the prolific author.
Talking to Screen Daily in February 2022, Director Andrew Dominik predicted the NC-17 rating by saying “It’s a demanding movie. If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the audience’s problem. It’s not running for public office. It’s an NC-17 movie about Marilyn Monroe, it’s kind of what you want, right? I want to go and see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story.”
In that same interview, Dominik said Netflix insisted on bringing on the acclaimed editor Jennifer Lame (Tenet), in order to “curb the excesses of the movie.”
Blonde will feature Ana de Armas in the starring role as Marilyn Monroe, alongside Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, and Julianne Nicholson. The film is being produced by a variety of individuals, including Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Tracey Landon, Scott Robertson, and Brad Pitt.
Blonde is scheduled to release sometime in 2022. However, the NC-17 rating could pose an obstacle to releasing the film in theatres, and, in turn, getting any Oscar nominations.