Madonna is set to co-write and direct a film about her life story as one of the world’s best-known artists – because, as she says, “who better to tell it than me?”
As women, we are often urged to reclaim the narrative – away from men, the media or any other force that seeks to usurp and distort our truths.
It’s an adage that Madonna took to heart this week as she announced her decision to direct and co-write a film about her own life story and iconic five-decade career.
The Material Girl singer is teaming up Oscar-winning writer Diablo Cody and Universal Pictures to create the as-yet untitled project, which will examine the impact of her identity as history’s best-selling female music artist on art, sexuality and feminism.
“There are so many untold and inspiring stories and who better to tell it than me,” Madonna said in a statement on her website. “It’s essential to share the roller coaster ride of my life with my voice and vision.
“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,” the singer added. “The focus of this film will always be music. Music has kept me going and art has kept me alive.”
Suffice to say, Madonna – ever the pro – has lined up a powerhouse team to bring her story to life.
The singer posted a teaser of the film on Instagram last month, with a photo of her working in collaboration with Cody (above).
The screenwriter won an Academy Award for her work on 2008 rom-com Juno, and is joined on Madonna’s new project by fellow industry heavyweight, producer Amy Pascal.
A three-time Oscar nominee, Pascal’s credits include Little Women and the Spider-Man franchise.
“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,” the producer said.
Naturally, Madonna is no stranger to the big screen. The singer’s repertoire of starring film roles include 1985’s Desperately Seeking Susan and an award-winning performance as Eva Perón in 1996 musical Evita.
This biopic also marks Madonna’s third time in the director’s chair; she previously directed 2008 comedy Filth and Wisdom and 2011’s WE, a period drama charting the scandalous relationship between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. She also co-directed a short film in 2013 about artistic freedom and human rights.
As well as charting her smash-hit career as one of the world’s best-known solo touring artists, the new film is expected to delve into Madonna’s personal relationships and controversies such as the fallout from her 1989 video for Like A Prayer (which showed the pop star kissing a Black saint and dancing in front of burning crosses).
It will also explore her activism work as a “freedom fighter” for causes including LGBTQ rights, gender equality and supporting vulnerable children through her own non-profit organisation, Raising Malawi.
Universal Pictures said it was “honoured” to work with Madonna on the biopic, describing the singer as “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,” a spokesperson for the studio said.