A Marilyn Monroe biopic will be Netflix’s first NC-17 movie
The NC-17 rating was created in 1990 by the Motion Picture Association of America as a less stigmatized alternative to X, which was the previous “Adults Only” rating for American films. While X was initially treated like any other note, and note X midnight cowboy even won the Best Picture Oscar, it was quickly co-opted by the porn industry. Pretty soon it was synonymous with smut and, more importantly, legitimate theaters refused to book X-rated movies because they didn’t want to be associated with that stigma.
Although porn has never made a habit of advertising its products by highlighting their “NC-17 rated action”, the rating nevertheless suffered the same fate as the X. NC-17 just became a classier code for X. Movie theaters and major video stores like Blockbuster refused to carry NC-17 rated movies, which made them commercially unviable. A few years after its introduction, the NC-17 was virtually dead. Today you are much more likely to see serious movies with unrated adult content than with an NC-17.
This news is therefore very unusual. Netflix’s Next Marilyn Monroe Biopic Blond has been rated NC-17 by the MPAA. When you search for the movie on their official movie rating website, Blond appears as “Rated NC-17 for certain sexual content”.
Netflix has already released sexually explicit films, including the steamy erotic thriller 365 days, (which is listed on the Netflix site with a “TV-MA” rating). However, it would be the company’s first original NC-17 rated feature according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While it may seem surprising that Netflix is streaming an NC-17 rated movie, BlondThe director of Andrew Dominik anticipated the note last month in an interview with Daily screen. At that time he described blond — which is based on the fictional Monroe novel by Joyce Carol Oates and stars Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe – like “an NC-17 movie about Marilyn Monroe, that’s kind of what you want, isn’t it? ” He also claimed Blond is “a demanding film [and] If the audience doesn’t like it, that’s the fucking audience’s problem. It’s not about running for public office.
As for when you could see this potentially controversial film, there have been rumors that Blond will premiere in May at the Cannes Film Festival although this has not been confirmed. Netflix has yet to announce a streaming release date for the film.
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(These numbers refer to the number of accounts that logged in during the first 28 days a movie was released. To be eligible, an account had to watch at least two minutes of a movie.)