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Industry Roundup: Naomi Watts and Michelle Williams Both to Play Marilyn Monroe

Blonde Bombshells: Strangely, just a few weeks after two Jackie Kennedy projects were announced, there are now two Marilyn Monroe films in the works. Naomi Watts will be playing Monroe in an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates's novel Blonde, which will be directed by Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). Meanwhile, the Weinstein Company is moving ahead with its own Monroe project, My Week With Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams. Week will focus on the time Monroe spent in England filming The Prince and the Showgirl opposite Laurence Olivier (a part that has not yet been cast). Not everyone wants to play the legend, though: Scarlett Johansson reportedly turned down the part Williams ending up taking. [Deadline]

Salmon Season: Lionsgate is partnering with BBC Films and Kudos Pictures to produce Salmon Fishing, which is based on the best-selling novel by Paul Torday. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, the film will star Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, and Kristin Scott-Thomas. Hallstrom took over for Bill Condon, who was originally signed on to direct; apparently, Condon prefers wolves to fish. [Deadline]

McEdgy: Rob Minkoff will direct Patrick Dempsey in the indie action-comedy Flypaper. Written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover), the film is about a bank that is robbed by two different sets of thieves at the same time. However, both groups are attacked by a “secret enemy” (Dempsey) who is attempting to save the bank teller he loves. With this and his Transformers role, Dempsey clearly wants us to know he's made of more than McDreamy. [Variety]

McEdgy: Rob Minkoff will direct Patrick Dempsey in the indie action-comedy Flypaper. Written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover), the film is about a bank that is robbed by two different sets of thieves at the same time. However, both groups are attacked by a “secret enemy” (Dempsey) who is attempting to save the bank teller he loves. With this and his Transformers role, Dempsey clearly wants us to know he's made of more than McDreamy. [Variety]

Special K: Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds) will star in Special Forces, in which she will play a French journalist kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The film, directed by Stephane Rybojad, will also feature Djimon Hounsou, Denis Menochet, Benoit Magimel, and Raphael Personnaz. Sounds like real escapist fare, this. [Variety]

Totally Hits: Jay-Z will be releasing a new greatest-hits complication, The Hits Collection, Vol. 1, on June 29. It isn’t clear what songs will be included, but Pitchfork is guessing it “will be weighted toward recent material." Is a Betty White guest verse too much to hope for? [Pitchfork]

Zanuck's Assault: Lili Fini Zanuck (Rush) is directing an adaptation of John O’Brien’s 1996 novel Assault on Tony’s. The book centers on five white patrons who are barricaded in a bar named Tony’s for seventeen days during a race riot. In the movie, though, writer Erik Bergquist (The Fast and the Furious) has contemporized the story, reducing the seventeen days to three, making the riots about the economy instead of race, and changing the five white guys to three white guys and two black guys. Oh, and the characters won't speak; they'll just tweet at each other. [HR]

Under the Sea: Pan Europeenne is developing a $37 million 3-D biopic on the French oceanographer and filmmaker Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Laurent Turner (The Inner Circle) is adapting the script from Capitaine de la Calypso, a Cousteau biography. If you are already dozing off at the thought of yet another biopic, don’t fret: “It will be a true biopic but also an adventure film featuring many underwater scenes.” Whoa now! [Variety]

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images