Numerous attempts to adapt the novel upon which is based the film were done since the mid-1950s. 20th Century-Fox originally optioned the project as a possible starring for Marilyn Monroe around 1956, with Monroe starring as Joyce Lakeland. Marlon Brando was attached to star as Lou Ford. Elizabeth Taylor was considered at the time for the role of Amy Stanton. After Monroe's unexpected death on August 5, 1962, the project was later shelved. In the mid-1980s, there was an attempt to adapt the book into a movie with Tom Cruise as Lou Ford, Brooke Shields as Amy Stanton and Demi Moore as Joyce Lakeland. However, the project was again shelved. However, in the mid-1990s, after the success of Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino was attached to direct the project. Uma Thurman was set to star as Amy Stanton. Juliette Lewis was considered for the part of Joyce Lakeland and Brad Pitt was attached to star as Lou Ford. However, the project fell through again after the 9/11 events of 2001, because the movie script was too violent. Then he scrapped everything and started from scratch. It wasn't until 2003, when Andrew Dominik wrote a highly stylized screenplay, and was at one point to direct it. He hoped the movie would star Leonardo DiCaprio as Lou Ford, Charlize Theron as Amy Stanton and Drew Barrymore as Joyce Lakeland. However, he lost interest in doing a film adaptation of a 1950s novel and instead chose to film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Then Marc Rocco stepped in, and wanted to cast Casey Affleck as Lou Ford, Reese Witherspoon as Amy Stanton and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Joyce Lakeland. However, Rocco dropped out at the last minute and Michael Winterbottom took over the job. At one point, Kate Winslet was slated to star as Amy, but after Winterbottom met with Kate Hudson he was convinced that no one else could play her.hey hey hey... you had me at "brutal on screen violence perpetrated against costars Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson."