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Madonna Will Direct and Write Her Own Biopic

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Madonna's life story is headed to the big screen. In September 2020, Universal Pictures confirmed that a biopic about the pop superstar is in the works, with Madonna directing and co-writing the film.

“I want to convey the incredible journey that life has taken me on as an artist, a musician, a dancer – a human being, trying to make her way in this world,” said Madonna in a press release. “It’s essential to share the roller coaster ride of my life with my voice and vision.”

While we wait for the official release date to be announced, we've rounded up what we know about the Madonna biopic so far.

What's the plot of the film?

Most of the details are still under wraps. However, we do know that the script is said to conclude with Madonna's 1990 Blonde Ambition World Tour, per The Hollywood Reporter.That tour solidified Madge's status as a pop culture icon for decades to come.

Photo credit: Frank Micelotta Archive - Getty Images
Photo credit: Frank Micelotta Archive - Getty Images

Jennifer's Body writer Diablo Cody collaborated with Madonna on a draft of the script, but Cody has since completed her work on the film. As of 2021, screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson joined the production—and according to Madonna's Instagram in December 2021, the duo seemed to still be working on the screenplay at the time. Wilson wrote the 2016 thriller The Girl on the Train. She's also behind the script for Disney's live-action Snow White remake.

Who's in the cast?

Emmy-winning actress Julia Garner of Ozark and Inventing Anna was offered the part of Madonna, according to Variety. Garner hasn't officially signed on yet, but she is expected to accept the role.

Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris - Getty Images

Florence Pugh, Alexa Demie, Barbie Ferreira, Sydney Sweeney, were among the other actresses who competed to play Madonna. The process involved an intense “Madonna Bootcamp” consisting of choreography and singing auditions, some of which were attended by the songstress herself.

Julia Fox is being eyed for a supporting role in the film. Per Entertainment Weekly, the Uncut Gems star could portray one of Madonna's close friends, actress Debi Mazar.

What is the film's title?

The biopic's working title appears to be Little Sparrow. In February 2022, Madonna shared an Instagram post with the film's script. She eventually deleted and re-posted the photo with a heart emoji covering the title, so there's a chance it could change.

Is this Madonna's directorial debut?

Madge is no stranger to the director's chair. She helmed the 2008 comedy Filth & Wisdom, as well as the 2011 historical drama about King Edward VII and Wallis Simpson's love affair, W.E., which received an Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Costume Design.

Has a movie about Madonna been made before?

News about a possible biopic broke in 2017. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Universal picked up a script entitled Blond Ambition, which followed Madonna's rise to fame after moving to New York City in the 1980s. Elyse Hollander penned the script, with Michael De Luca (Fifty Shades of Grey) and Brett Ratner (War Dogs) slated to produce. In an Instagram post, Madonna voiced her distaste for the project. “Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen. Only I can tell my story,” she said.

In 2021, she indicated that this wasn't Hollywood's first attempt at a Madonna film. She told Jimmy Fallon, “The reason I’m doing it is because a bunch of people have tried to write movies about me, but they’re always men.” She also referenced the failed 2017 project, saying, “I read that Universal was doing a script… they wanted my blessing, and I read it. It was the most hideous, superficial crap I’ve ever read. This has happened a couple of times. So, finally, I just threw down the gauntlet.”

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