EXCLUSIVE: All-star ensemble cast on board Liz Garbus documentary about Marilyn Monroe

Uma Thurman, Viola Davis, Lindsay Lohan, Paul Giamatti, Ellen Burstyn and Evan Rachel Wood are among the all-star ensemble cast who will appear in Liz Garbus documentary Fragments, which is being handled by StudioCanal.

Lili Taylor, Zoe Saldana, David Strathairn, Jennifer Ehle, F Murray Abraham, Vanessa Shaw, Michelle Monaghan and Gretchen Mol are also on board.

Giamatti will read as director George Cukor, F Murray Abraham will read as the actress’s psychiatrist.

The cast will bring voice to an array of Marilyn related material gathered from the Arthur Miller estate, Truman Capote estate and beyond, including poems, letters and diary entries written by and about the icon.

Currently in production, the film is set for delivery by Aug. 5, 2012, the 50th anniversary of Monroe’s death.

Bonnie Greenberg is music supervisor and Randy Edelman scores. Producer Stanley Buchthal is also in talks with various pop stars to contribute to the film’s musical elements.

Garbus said of the film: “We’re working with amazing material. It will go to the heart of Marilyn and express some of the aspects of the woman which have not been touched on before. The actors will convey Marilyn’s fears, anxieties, the men in her life, agents of both good and evil, and the context of the world she lived in. Marilyn was foregrounding her sexuality in a world that wasn’t quite ready for that and her struggle is palpable in these texts. We also discover how hard she worked at her acting and her passion for the craft. “

Producer Buchthal added: “We thought about one big name to read as Marilyn but wanted to celebrate her in a different way. The poems and letters opened up a very different Marilyn Monroe to the one we have seen before. She was very well read, for example, and far from the frivolous blonde she was sometimes made out to be. That is what was exciting to me. Not enough people have taken her seriously as a serious person. This film uncovers how insightful, poetic and interesting she was”.

Buchthal co-edited the archive book Fragments - a major source for the film - which sold 600,000 copies in 22 countries.

StudioCanal is shopping the film at the EFM.