Madonna Boot Camp? All the Actresses Rumored to Play the Queen of Pop!
Who's that girl? More like: Which girl will it be?!
Madonna has been working on a biopic about her own life since 2020, and ever since Universal confirmed the project's existence in September of that year, young actresses have been jockeying to play the future Queen of Pop in a story that is said to follow her from her earliest days in NYC until her iconic Blond Ambition world tour in 1990.
Madonna was first said to be working with Oscar winner (for "Juno") Diablo Cody, but Cody was off the project by spring 2021, and Erin Cressida Wilson ("Secretary," "The Girl on the Train") was pictured toiling away with Madonna on her Instagram.
In October, Madonna — who is directing as well as co-writing — said she was "almost finished" with the script, and now THR reports that casting is heating up!
The outlet confirms that a slew of "Emmy winners and Oscar nominees" and "singers turned actresses" are working hard for the coveted part, going through what is described as "Madonna Bootcamp."
THR says Carmen Cuba is the casting director behind the search, and that hopefuls are expected to put in 11-hour days working with Madonna's choreographer, meeting with Madonna, doing readings, and even singing Madonna's songs in her presence.
"You have to be able to do everything," a source close to the production tells THR.
Because of Madonna's unique straddling of the worlds of music, dance, live performance, art, social activism, and — yes — film, the candidates vying to play her are diverse. They include long-rumored front-runners like "Little Women" Oscar nominee Florence Pugh (Madonna has acknowledged Pugh is in the mix), 26, and Julia Garner, 28, of "Ozark" and "Inventing Anna."
Other actors THR asserts have been seen include "Euphoria" star Alexa Demie, 31; indie actress Odessa Young, 24; "Mayor of Kingstown's" Emma Laird, 23; and singers Bebe Rexha, 32, and Sky Ferreira, 29.
At the end of last month, The Ankler reported two more "Euphoria" actresses — 24-year-old Sydney Sweeney and 25-year-old Barbie Ferreira — have auditioned, and guessed that Pugh may not have worked out, since so many names are still being bandied about.
Fans have suggested everyone from Chloë Grace Moretz, 25, to Anya Taylor-Joy, 25. Meanwhile, 24-year-old Swedish singer Zara Larsson has put herself forward for the role on Twitter, and "The Orville" actress Anne Winters, 27, has dazzled followers with countless Madonna looks while publicly campaigning to be considered.
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Some have even suggested Madonna might take an "I'm Not There" approach, referring to the 2007 Todd Haynes drama about Bob Dylan that starred six different actors (Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Ben Whishaw), each playing a different facet of Dylan's persona.
The stakes are high — biopics about Queen (2018's "Bohemian Rhapsody") and Elton John (2019's "Rocketman") were huge hits and award magnets. Just this year alone, six of the 10 performances nominated for Oscars in leading roles were from biopics.
What's next? According to THR, Universal is "high on the project" but will not officially green-light the film until a final script and budget have been approved... and a star chosen.
As for why Madonna is so hands-on, she told Jimmy Fallon during a cheeky October visit that hearing an unofficial biopic was being readied back in 2017 lit a fire under her.
"Why would these people make a movie about my life?" she said to Fallon. "There's nothing true in the script. The guy who is making it has no understanding of women, no appreciation of women, no respect for women," referring to Brett Ratner.
"This happened a couple of times," she continued, "and finally I just threw down the gauntlet. I just said there's nobody on this planet that can write or direct a movie about me better than me."