Sixty years after her devastating death, Marilyn Monroe remains a source of fascination to the world. But what would life have been like had Monroe not passed away? What if you could go back and change history?
Filmmaker Remi Gangarossa explores the “what-ifs” in his new short film, Marilyn’s Dark Paradise, scheduled for a 2023 release. Aiming to expunge the current climate of exploitation against Monroe, the movie gives justice to the legacy of Norma Jeane—the woman Monroe truly was, and the woman she could have still become.
The film is unique, standing apart from other recent Monroe projects, as a biographically based piece that incorporates a fantasy element of time travel, all the while exploring a theme focusing on the universal struggle to understand what it means to be “enough”. The storyline follows an adventurous time traveler who discovers an ability to turn back the clock and befriend Monroe. He battles with the idea of saving her from death, at the same time trying to respect the rigid rules of time travel––he absolutely cannot warn her about August 4, 1962.
“Marilyn’s Dark Paradise has taken nearly a decade to complete,” explains director Remi Gangarossa. “Marilyn is one of the most inspirational humans in history, and this film highlights how she was a brave and triumphant survivor.”
An abundance of attention and care went into the details, journeying Monroe’s difficult childhood, her accomplishments, and that fateful August day. The four-plus years it took to recreate Monroe’s bedside table with historical accuracy demonstrates only a small fraction of the painstaking love put into the film. Bona-fide memorabilia such as letters the actress wrote are featured, lending authenticity. Additionally, the crew often shot on location in exact spots Monroe once stood.
Another layer of legitimacy is the contribution by experts serving as creative producers: Scott Fortner (MM historian), Greg Schreiner (President of Marilyn Remembered Fan Club), Peter Gonzalez (MM memorabilia collector), Rick Carl (a classic film and television archivist), and Stephanie Stuart (co-producer and lead actress).
As a celebration of perseverance and strength, Marilyn’s Dark Paradise captures Monroe rising above her challenges.