Madonna set to write and direct film of her own life story


For weeks now Madonna has been hinting that she’s working on a biopic about her own life. On her Instagram page she’s been handing out with screenwriter Diablo Cody, and sharing photos of old journals, cassettes of early demo recordings, and photographs of friends from her early days in New York in the late 1970s.

Last week Madonna and Cody did a live stream talking about the project, and now it’s been officially confirmed. The as yet unnamed project will be written by Cody and the singer, Madonna will also direct. It’s being produced by Amy Pascal at Universal.

Back in 2016 a script titled Blonde Ambition written by Elyse Hollander was named the best screenplay doing the rounds of producers offices in Hollywood. The unauthorised telling of Madonna’s life drew a swift reaction from the singer who said she’d be the only one telling her story.

“Why would Universal Studios want to make a movie about me based on a script that is all lies???” Madonna said of the project. “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.”

Now it seems Madonna is eager to get her version of her life on screen.

“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,” Madonna said in a statement. “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 rollercoaster ride of my life with my voice and vision.” Madonna said.

Madonna’s previously directed two film 2008’s low-budget Filth and Wisdom and 2011’s studio pic W.E. Neither were successes at the box office. As an actor Madonna found success in Desperately Seeking Susan which was released in 1985 at the height of Madonna-mania. Her subsequent starring roles Shanghai Surprise, Who’s That Girl, Dangerous Game, Body of Evidence, Next Best  Thing and Swept Away have all tanked. She has however found success playing smaller supporting roles in films like A League of Their Own. 

Madonna’s bio-pic follows other recent films including Ray, Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman and Walk the Line. Many of those films were made with close involvement of their subject matter, which while potentially telling more sedate versions of the singer’s lives, it also allows the producers access to their music and archival material.

What period of Madonna’s long career the film will cover is not known. During their live stream chat Diablo Cody and Madonna spoke about what it was like working Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber on the film production of Evita in the mid-90s.

There’s certainly many iconic moments in the singer’s career, and no shortage of controversies. It hard to imagine now, but in 1985 parents were up in arms when the singer used the word “virgin’, that would quickly be forgotten following controversies around naked photos being published in Playboy, her Justify My Love and Like a Prayer videos, In Bed With Madonna documentary, the Sex book, and many other moments in her wild career.

The singer has also had many romances, while relationships with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dan Gilroy, Stephen Bray, DJ John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez, Sean Penn, Guy Ritchie, Tony Ward and Carlos Leon have been publicly acknowledged. The star is also rumoured to have been involved with Sandra Bernhard, John F Kennedy Jr, Alex Rodriquez, John Enos, Tupac, Dennis Rodman, Andy Bird and Vanilla Ice. In recent years she’s dated a succession of younger men including Jesus Luz, Timor Steffans, Brahim Zaibat, Kevin Sampaio and current boyfriend Ahlamalik Williams.

Looking for more on Madonna

If you can’t wait for Madonna’s version of her life story, there is a bundle of biographies out there on the singer.

Madonna – An Intimate Biography
by J. Randy Taraborrelli

Published in 2001 this book comes from a writer with a long history of dirt-dishing unauthorised biographies. He previously wrote top selling books focusing on Frank Sinatra, Cher, Diana Ross, and Michael Jackson.  In the book Madonna is portrayed as a power-dater who uses her relationships to advance her career. It covers her volatile marriage to actor Sean Penn and suggests she also had a relationship with John F Kennedy Jr, much to his mother Jackie Onassis’ displeasure. It also details an incident in 1995 when stalker broke into the grounds of Madonna’s Hollywood home and was shot by her security guards. It also claims Madonna had a frosty relationship with actress Melanie Griffiths who visited the set of Evita to ensure Madonna wasn’t flirting with her boyfriend Antonio Banderas.

Life with my Sister Madonna
by Christopher Ciccone

Early in her career Madonna was very close with her younger gay brother Christopher. He was a backing dancer in her earliest videos, worked as a dresser on her first tour and went on to become design the productions of her later tours, and did the interior design on many of her houses, and managed her multi-million dollar art collection. As the years went on though the siblings had a falling out, leading to Christopher to publish his tell-all autobiography about life in Madonna’s inner circle.  His recollections are filled with tales of celebrities who pass through their VIP lives, but also stories of the Ciccone family’s interactions with the superstar.

OIP Staff


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