With Madonna’s world tour starting up in 2023, the singer reveals she doesn’t have time to direct her own biopic for the foreseeable future.
Ozark actor Julia Garner will not channel pop singer Madonna anytime soon.
As Variety reports, a long-gestating feature film biography starring Garner as Madonna has been shelved indefinitely at Universal Pictures. The news comes about one week after the pop star announced her Celebration world tour commemorating forty years in the music industry. While representatives for Madonna, Garner and Universal did not immediately comment on the matter, unnamed inside sources claimed the singer was still committed to moving forward with the project at some point. When that will be has not been clarified at the time of writing.
The as-yet-untitled film had been in development since at least 2020 when it was first announced. Madonna was attached to direct and had worked on two drafts of the script. Collaborators included Erin Cressida Wilson, who co-wrote the upcoming live-action remake of Snow White with Greta Gerwig, and Diablo Cody, best known for her screenwriting debut Juno which won an Oscar in 2008. Madonna shared videos of her writing sessions with Cody on Instagram.
The film was brought to Universal by Donna Langley, chairman of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and Amy Pascal, who had a hand in producing the most recent Spider-Man films at Sony. Sara Zambreno, a producer on earlier Madonna documentaries, and Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary were set to executive produce. Madonna and Pascal had previously worked on the baseball comedy-drama A League of Their Own. Madonna’s late casting in the 1992 film led cast member Debra Winger to quit the project, accusing director Penny Marshall of making “an Elvis film,” referring to Presley’s numerous acting vehicles that had few qualities beyond star power.
For casting the Madonna biopic, a week-long singing and dancing boot camp was set up. The young stars taking the challenge included Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova in the MCU), Euphoria’s Alexa Demie, Odessa Young and singer Bebe Rexha. Ultimately, the part went to Garner, a prolific actor who has starred in some of the most high-profile television series of recent years, including The Americans, Ozark and Inventing Anna. Her part as Ruth Langmore in Ozark won her three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2019, 2020 and 2022 as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2023.
Ozark and Inventing Anna are currently streaming on Netflix.
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