The Queen of Pop, Madonna, has lived a life that definitely plays out like a movie: the story goes that she showed up in New York City in the late '70s with only $35 in her pocket and a dream. So when it was announced in September 2020 that Universal Pictures was developing a film about the pop star's life, with the “Vogue” hitmaker set to direct her own story with the help of Juno writer Diablo Cody, it definitely made sense..
Since then, there’s been a lot of speculation surrounding the screenplay, and who might be cast as Madonna (try to think of a more daunting role, we’ll wait). Madge herself has given us so many peeks into the behind-the-scenes process of writing the movie on her Instagram (if you don’t follow her, you should, she’s definitely never boring). Here’s everything we know so far..
When the project was announced in 2020, the “Like A Prayer” crooner said in a statement, "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. The focus of this film will always be music. Music has kept me going and art has kept me alive. There are so many untold and inspiring stories and who better to tell it than me. It's essential to share the roller coaster ride of my life with my voice and vision.".
Calling it a "visual autobiography" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2021, the “Papa Don’t Preach” singer said, "There is nobody on this planet that can write or direct, make a movie about me, better than me and that is just the truth."
Her co-director is Amy Pascal, who also directed The Post, and originally tapped to co-write the screenplay was Juno Oscar-winning writer Diablo Cody, but she has since left the project, and now Erin Cressida Wilson has taken over..
During that 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, the Material Girl showed her disdain for all of the men who have made or tried to make biopics about her that don’t ring true to reality. “The reason I'm doing it is a bunch of people have tried to write movies about me, but they're always men." .
She even revealed that Universal once sent her a script that she described as "the most hideous, superficial crap I ever read,” and they wanted a director whom she described as "the misogynist" to helm the project..
"Why would these people make a movie about my life?" she continued..
She didn’t name names, but in 2019, a documentary/biopic hybrid movie came out called Madonna and the Breakfast Club, directed by Guy Guido. The film was a hit on the festival circuit and was even picked up for streaming on Prime Video. The movie was unique in that it managed to film inside Madonna’s old apartments, and speak to her old boyfriends, colleagues, and friends from her early days in Michigan and also New York. It recreated famous late 70s photographs of her in her first bands, and cast a near doppelganger as Madonna..
Speaking with Fallon, Madonna said, "There's nothing true in the script, the guy who is making it has no understanding of women, no appreciation of women, no respect for women." The singer went on to say that "this happened a couple of times.”.
Earlier this week, she echoed these sentiments with Variety, saying, “I’ve had an extraordinary life, I must make an extraordinary film. It was also a preemptive strike because a lot of people were trying to make movies about me. Mostly misogynistic men. So I put my foot in the door and said, ‘No one’s going to tell my story, but me.”.
There is a lot of speculation over which young actresses in Hollywood have been auditioning for the coveted role. Madonna will also have final say over the choice of star, a source told The Mirror in 2021, and various names are reportedly on the short list, with Madge herself expressing interest in Little Women star Florence Pugh..
"We haven't decided yet. But she's definitely up there on the list, if she'll have me,” she said. Rumours abound that three Euphoria stars, Sydney Sweeney, Alexa Demie, and Barbie Ferreira, have also auditioned for the part along with Odessa Young, Bebe Rexha, Sky Ferreira, and Ozark’s Julia Garner.
Variety reported last month that Julia Garner was offered the role, but no official confirmation from Garner or Madonna has come down the pipeline yet. .
If you want to make it through the wilderness shiny and new, you need to go through a Madonna style Bootcamp. Word on the street is the final five actresses up for the role of Madonna were put through “up to 11-hour-a-day choreography sessions” with Madonna’s personal choreographer, followed by choreography sessions with the Grammy-winner herself..
You won’t be sorry if you follow the “Open Your Heart” Grammy winner on IG, because she’s done everything on there from sharing her old journals and scrapbooks, to early demos before she found fame, and rare and unseen photographs that have come up in her research for the script.
Of course we know that Madonna’s tour documentaries, like Truth Or Dare, have been iconic and culturally influential, but her acting career (save for a few highlights like Evita), haven’t been as noteworthy.
As for directing, Madonna surprised everyone in 2011 when she released the historic period drama W.E. about the life and struggles of Wallis Simpson, who married King Edward, forcing him to abdicate the throne. Madge wrote and directed the film, which starred Abby Cornish and Oscar Issac, and also included one of her original songs which won a Golden Globe. Plus, let’s not forget she has been married to two of the most famous directors in Hollywood, Sean Penn, and Guy Ritchie, and worked with both of them on movies, so she’s apprenticed with the best..
No release date for this movie is currently announced, but we cannot wait to get into the groove.