Competition is intense for the role of Madonna in an upcoming biopic that the singer and actress herself is directing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, casting director Carmen Cuba’s search for the perfect star has at least five stars left in contention for the part. Among them are Black Widow’s Florence Pugh, Inventing Anna’s Julia Garner, Euphoria’s Alexa Demie, Mothering Sunday’s Odessa Young, and Mayor of Kingstown’s Emma Laird. Musical artists Bebe Rexha and Sky Ferreira have also been considered.
Sources explain that the audition process has been exhaustive – and apparently quite exhausting – involving choreography sessions both with Madonna’s choreographer and Madonna that have lasted up to eleven hours in a single day. Readings and musical performances with Madonna have been a part of callbacks. Newsweek makes a strong case for why Pugh, an Oscar nominee in 2019 for Little Women, should be the natural choice for the role.
The film, whose events currently run up to the 1990 Blonde Ambition tour, is notable for the involvement of its subject as co-writer and director. “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 shared in October on a The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon appearance. Brett Ratner and Michael DeLuca were previously attached to a biopic that didn’t end up getting made. Other famous musicians have participated in films about them. Recently, Elton John was an executive producer on Rocketman, and Bob Marley’s family has been involved with his upcoming Paramount biopic.
While this film has yet to get a greenlight from Universal, Erin Cressida Wilson is attached as a co-writer, replacing Diablo Cody, and Amy Pascal will produce. Pascal shared that “This movie is an absolute labor of love for me. I have known Madonna since we made A League of Their Own together, and I can’t imagine anything more thrilling than collaborating with her and Diablo on bringing her true-life story to the big screen with Donna and our partners at Universal.”