October 8, 2010 / 6:27 PM / 10 years ago

Michelle Williams to play Marilyn Monroe in movie

Actress Michelle Williams at the 67th Venice Film Festival September 5, 2010. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michelle Williams will play Marilyn Monroe in a new movie based around the iconic actress’s 1956 film shoot in London opposite Sir Laurence Olivier, producers said on Friday.

Williams, 30, who earned an Oscar nomination for her 2005 role in “Brokeback Mountain” and also appeared in “Shutter Island”, stars as Monroe alongside a British cast that sees Kenneth Branagh as Olivier, Julia Ormond playing actress Vivien Leigh and Judi Dench in the role of British screen veteran Dame Sybil Thorndike.

“My Week with Marilyn” chronicles a week in the life of Monroe as she escapes her Hollywood routine and is introduced to the pleasures of 1950s Britain by an assistant on the set of “The Prince and the Showgirl”.

British actor Derek Jacobi, and young stars Dominic Cooper and Emma Watson of “Harry Potter” fame, will also appear, with Simon Curtis directing.

Work on the co-production between BBC Films, Trademark Films and the Weinstein Company has already started at Britain’s Pinewood Studios, producers said.

The movie is the second planned film treatment of Monroe — still one of the world’s best-known sex symbols more than 40 years after her death.

Australian Naomi Watts is due to play Monroe in the Hollywood movie “Blonde” based on U.S. writer Joyce Carol Oates’ 2000 fictional biography of the star. “Blonde” is expected to start shooting in early 2012.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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