A celebrity dream team is supposedly circling an ambitious new project that has come to light during the weekend launch of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Per The Times, George Clooney will portray Frank Sinatra and Angelina Jolie will take on Marilyn Monroe in an adaptation of Andrew O’Kagan’s lauded novel The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe.
The quirky-titled book is a story told by the blond bombshell’s terrier (which was a gift from Sinatra) and follows the canine through the last two years of his master’s life. According to the novel’s description, Maf – short for Mafia – met several famous faces from the era, including President John F. Kennedy. The dog also accompanied Monroe to acting classes, restaurants, department stores and to Mexico for her divorce from playwright Arthur Miller. The trade notes that, though Scarlett Johansson was initially pegged for the part of Monroe, Jolie has emerged the victor. O’Kagan went on record saying that he believed that Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks would’ve also been great for the coveted role.
There are a slew of more straight-forward biopics about both Sinatra and Monroe in development, among them Sinatra with Martin Scorsese attached and Blonde with Naomi Watts set to star as MM under the direction of Andrew Dominik. Though I believe both Clooney and Jolie to be wonderful actors, I’m more interested in these other projects than the kitschy-sounding Maf The Dog. O’Kagan’s novel, though certainly original, sounds better suited for an animated movie than a film about two legends of the entertainment industry. I also believe that Scorsese’s film may or may not ever get made due to his ever-expanding cache of projects, but the thought of the debonair Leo DiCaprio re-teaming with his Shutter Island director is enough to sell me on it. As for Monroe, I’d also rather see a separate biopic on her as well and Watts is a phenomenally talented performer, but she would need Hendricks’ body to be at all convincing as the voluptuous vixen that enchanted the world for a spell in the 1950s.
We’re still waiting for some confirmation on this developing story, but one sign of validity is clearly indicated in the openings in both actors schedules. With two films in post-production/completed a piece and no officially green-lit go-to gigs ready to start, this could potentially fit for both Clooney and Jolie and will certainly draw attention to the project.