Julia Garner is expected to accept an offer to play the role of pop icon Madonna in an upcoming biopic, reports Variety. And Madonna herself will direct the new film for Universal Pictures, using a script written by Diablo Cody.
Garner, who starred in Ozark, The Assistant, and Inventing Anna, emerged as the front-runner for the role, edging out a dozen other hopefuls that included Alexa Demie, Sky Ferreira, Florence Pugh, Bebe Rexha, and Odessa Young. Garner is currently filming Apartment 7A, a thriller for Paramount.
In announcing she would be taking on the directorial role, Madonna said she aimed 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.”
Madonna has reportedly been described as “meticulous” in selecting someone for the role, insisting that the chosen performer be adept in singing, dancing, and acting. The pop icon had criticized Blind Ambition, an earlier script for the biopic written by Elyse Hollander. In postings on social media in 2017, Madonna declared “Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen. Only I can tell my story. Anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool … Why would Universal Studios want to make a movie about me based on a script that is all lies???”
This would not be Madonna’s first time in the director’s chair. A decade or so earlier, she directed two features: Filth and Wisdom (2008) and W.E. (2012), the latter a biopic about the romance of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, who became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Neither of the two films were well-received by critics.