Madonna Biopic Scrapped By Universal After Grueling Audition Process

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A Hollywood biopic on the life and career of Madonna has officially been called off.

The project was being developed by Universal Pictures, according to Variety, but all activity has ceased on the heels of Madonna announcing an upcoming tour of North America and Europe. The singer said she plans to make the movie in the future but, for now, is focused on The Celebration Tour, which kicks off in Vancouver, Canada, this July.

The unnamed biopic movie was announced in 2020 and intended to cover the 64-year-old pop star’s four decades-long career, which involved music, movies, and a whole lot of controversy.

Madonna, whose full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone, was dubbed the “Queen of Pop” and, over the years, became a cultural icon, for better or worse.

She said in 2020 while announcing the movie, “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 publication noted that actress Julia Garner was the most likely candidate to play Madonna in the film. An extensive audition process dubbed “Madonna bootcamp” preceded that casting, with leading lady hopefuls auditioning for up to 11 hours per day and working with Madonna’s choreographer and Madonna herself on dance sequences.

Sources said that any actress who passed the first rounds would have to sing in front of Madonna as part of the audition.

Amy Pascal was going to be the producer, while Madonna and Erin Cressida Wilson co-wrote the script. There were reportedly discussions about turning the project into a miniseries or two separate movies because of the length of the script. 

The pop singer told Variety it was “really hard for me to make shorter.” Madonna said, “I’ve been whittling away at it but it’s like hacking off my limbs.”

Madonna also said she was the only one qualified to tell her life story.

“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 reportedly told Jimmy Fallon in October 2021.

“I read that Universal was doing a script… they wanted my blessing, and I read it. It was the most hideous, superficial crap I’ve ever read. This [has] happened a couple of times. So, finally, I just threw down the gauntlet.”

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