Madonna, who was due to direct her own biopic with Julia Garner, has abandoned the project to focus on her world tour.
Madonna fans, this is sad news. The iconic singer has pulled out of her long-awaited biopic, which she was to direct herself and choreograph the dance numbers.
According to Variety magazine, Universal Pictures has scrapped the project because the 64-year-old singer has decided to focus on her upcoming world tour, which sold out in cities like New York and London within minutes of tickets going on sale last week. The publication reports that all is not lost, as Madonna is determined to make her life story into a movie at some point, but for now she has other priorities.
The news comes as a bit of a surprise, as in June 2022, Madonna seemed to have found her Material Girl in Ozark star Julia Garner. The award-winning actress beat out several big names in a rigorous audition process to play the music icon in the now-postponed biopic.
Madonna BootCamp" for female contenders
A few months earlier, The Hollywood Reporter gave an insight into the "gruelling" audition process, described as a "Madonna BootCamp". The publication claimed that the contestants had 11-hour days, consisting of dance sessions with Madonna's choreographer and the legend herself.
During callbacks, the shortlist of contestants were treated to readings and singing auditions with Madonna. About the all-singing, all-dancing role, one insider said, "You have to be able to do everything".
The role was highly sought after, and the names of several high-profile actresses were strongly considered for the part. Those rumoured to have shown their triple talent as an actress, singer and dancer during the audition process were Florence Pugh and Australian actress Odessa Young. Singers Bebe Rexha and Sky Ferreira have also been considered. Euphoria stars Alexa Demie, Sydney Sweeney and Barbie Ferreira were also considered for the lead role.
The Queen of Pop biopic was announced over two years ago and Diablo Cody was the writer. Then Erin Cressida Wilson of The Girl on the Train stepped in to co-write the project with Madonna last year.
The biopic would have followed the iconic singer in her early years, culminating in the 1990 Blonde Ambition tour. Announcing the film, the 63-year-old singer explained that she wanted the biopic to "convey the incredible journey that life has taken me on as an artist, a musician, a dancer – a human being trying to make my way in this world".
Madonna added that the film would focus on music, as it "kept me going and art kept me going": "There are so many untold and inspiring stories, and who better to tell them than me. It's essential to share the rollercoaster ride of my life with my voice and vision," she concluded.
Madonna also insisted on staying true to her point of view. Speaking earlier about why she was co-writing and directing the film herself, she told The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: "The reason I'm doing it is because a lot of people have tried to write movies about me, but they're always men.