If you needed a reminder that Marilyn Monroe wasn’t the ultra-confident sex symbol we’ve long remembered her as, try watching the first full-length trailer for the upcoming Netflix film Blonde. “I’ve played Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe,” Ana de Armas says in character as the icon born Norma Jeane Mortenson. “I can’t face doing another scene with Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn doesn’t exist. When I come out of the dressing room, I’m Norma Jeane. I’m still her when the camera is rolling.”
Like the previously released teaser, the two-minute eight-second clip features recreations of some of Monroe’s most iconic and glamorous moments: the Seven Year Itch (1954) scene in which her dress billows above a subway grate and performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. This time, though, they’re interspersed with scenes that can only be described as dark. Director Andrew Dominik’s aim was to depict the lonely, tortured life that Monroe—who died at just 36 in 1962—led behind the scenes, and he seems to have achieved that chiefly by having de Armas scream out in agony. Between the scenes featuring her standing stationary in a room engulfed in flames, running away in a hospital gown, and driving a car straight towards a tree, his message is loud and clear.
There’s no explicit suggestion of why, in a first for Netflix, the film was rated NC-17. So, fair warning: “Some sexual content” refers to footage including a rape scene that prompted the streaming service to, according to the direct, “insist” on bringing on another editor to “curb the excesses of the movie.” And in every interview he’s given about the film, Dominik has stressed that he didn’t hold back in accomplishing his mission to depict the divide between Monroe’s public and private lives. If you’re questioning putting yourself through watching how he did so (or sitting through the 166-minute run time), you have time to decide. The film—which the few who’ve seen have given overwhelmingly positive reviews—premieres on September 28. In the meantime, get a sneak peek by watching the rather harmless trailer below.