What does NC-17 rating mean? Certification explored as Ana de Armas' Marilyn Monroe film Blonde heads to Netflix

Ana de Armas is Marilyn Monroe in Netflix's Blonde (Image via Sportskeeda)
Ana de Armas is Marilyn Monroe in Netflix's Blonde (Image via Sportskeeda)

Andrew Dominik, who directed the Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde starring Ana de Armas, claims that the film is an NC-17 rendition of the story regardless of the rating.

Blonde, based on the 2000 Joyce Carol Oates novel of the same name, will bring Monroe's story to life. Adrien Brody will play as The Playwright, and Bobby The Ex-Athlete in the adaptation. Caspar Phillipson and Julianne Nicholson will play The President and Gladys respectively.

The men's names have been changed to lighten Monroe's legendary love life, but are based on her famous suitors Arthur Miller, Joe DiMaggio, and John F. Kennedy.

Does Netflix's Blonde truly embrace the NC-17 rating?

NC-17 is a rating assigned by the Motion Picture Association of America to any movie that is not meant to be witnessed by those under the age of 18.

For months, rumors about Dominik and Netflix being at odds over the final cut of the film did the rounds. The filmmaker dismissed the backlash as "a bunch of horses**t." However, he went on to admit to Screen Daily:

"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."

With this, he likely implies that the picture embraces the darker aspects of Monroe's life and career, stripping away the Hollywood glamor.

Blonde was one of several films that de Armas worked on after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed it for two years. The film is set to premiere on Netflix in 2022, although an official date is yet to be announced. Given Dominik's treatment of the information, when it does come out, it should be a heated topic.

Dominik went on to say that he owed Netflix "nothing but gratitude," noting that the streaming service backed the film despite its content issues. The filmmaker added:

“It’s much easier to support stuff when you like it. It’s much harder when you don’t.”

Blonde has the freedom to go all-out on the NC-17 side of Marilyn Monroe's life due to its loosely fictitious nature. The movie can do so without the danger of being accused of libel, allowing it to focus on as many facets of the tale as they see fit.

Many Monroe fans will no doubt be curious about this approach. Over the years, they have seen her story play out in a variety of ways in movies such as Goodbye Norma Jean and Marilyn & Me to name a few, but perhaps never in such a committed and possibly dark manner.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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