After a nearly four-decade music career, Madonna is getting the biopic treatment under her own direction.
The star will co-write and direct the as-yet-untitled project with the Oscar-winning Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody and Universal producer Amy Pascal, according to the studio.
The project, which Madonna, 62, has teased on Instagram with several shots of writing sessions with Cody on her couch, has yet to reveal a production timeline or casting decisions. Madonna’s direction would break from recent biopic precedent – Bohemian Rhapsody, on Queen, and Rocketman, about Elton John, both involved their stars as peripheral creative consultants rather than storytellers.
“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, born Madonna Louise Ciccone in Bay City, Michigan, has previously directed two films: the 2008 drama Filth and Wisdom and period biopic W.E. She has also acted in Desperately Seeking Susan and Dick Tracy, and received a Golden Globe nod for best actress for Evita, in 1996. The new film will reunite Madonna with producer Amy Pascal, who worked with the singer on A League of Their Own in 1992.
The announcement of a self-directed and -written biopic comes three years after a separate, undeveloped project on Madonna’s early career earned the singer’s wrath. Blond Ambition, a unproduced screenplay about Madonna’s early career in New York City, was purchased by Universal in April 2017.
“Why would Universal Studios want to make a movie about me based on a script that is all lies???” Madonna posted on Instagram at the time. “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.”
The pop icon, whose groundbreaking albums Like a Virgin, True Blue and Like a Prayer punctured taboos around sex, religion and race in the 1980s, remains the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time, and has sold over 335m records worldwide.