The Material Girl has lived long enough to tell and express herself on the big screen.
Madonna has teamed with screenwriter Diablo Cody, producer Amy Pascal and Universal for a biopic on herself. In this case, call it an autobiopic as the music and pop culture icon is not only co-writing the script with Cody, who won an Oscar for writing Juno, but directing the project as well.
“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,” said Madonna. “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 and Cody have been teasing the news on Instagram and while the project is currently untitled, the singer-songwriter does call it Live to Tell at one point.
Madonna’s career spans almost four decades and has gone far beyond music as she has made inroads into art, movies, fashion and charity. She burst onto the 1980s music scene and established herself as the Queen of Pop with best-selling albums such as Like a Virgin, True Blue and Like a Prayer, pushing the envelope of topics such as sex and religion and race and establishing herself as a feminist icon.
She also worked as an actress, a mixed track record that still generated box office heat with movies such as Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy, A League of Their Own and Evita while at the same time making headlines for relationships with Sean Penn, Warren Beatty and Guy Ritchie.
Madonna’s continued relevance has been due to her fearlessness in reinventing herself, something she did with her music in the 1990s and when she moved into directing with 2011’s W.E., a period drama that starred Abbie Cornish and Andrea Riseborough.
Along the way, she was certified the best-selling female music artist in history, selling 335 million records worldwide and remaining the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time. According to Universal, Madonna remains one of the most awarded and critically acclaimed artists in history, with 658 prominent global award nominations and 225 wins. She has graced more than 4,700 magazine covers worldwide, according to the studio.
“Madonna is the ultimate icon, humanitarian, artist and rebel. With her singular gift of creating art that is as accessible as it is boundary-pushing, she has shaped our culture in a way very few others have,” said Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley in a statement.
Madonna being front and center to guide her own biopic should not be a surprise from anyone who has followed her career. But it is noteworthy since most biopics, when based on people or musical acts, tend to have their subjects as consultants and executive producers, involved mainly from rights points of view. This has been the case with recent hits Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Sara Zambreno and Guy Oseary will executive produce. Senior executive vp of production Erik Baiers and director of development Lexi Barta will oversee the project on behalf of Universal Pictures.
Madonna is repped by CAA and Maverick and Cody by MXN Entertainment and McKuin Frankel.