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Madonna for DazedPhotography Steven Klein

The Madonna biopic is no more

The Queen of Pop is heading off on tour, leaving plans for the film in tatters

The troubled path of Madonna’s self-directed biopic has hit yet another roadblock. On Tuesday, Variety reported that the film is no longer in development at Universal Pictures, as the Queen of Pop will focus her efforts on a 35-city world tour kicking off this summer.

Inventing Anna star Julia Garner had landed the hallowed role, allegedly beating out the likes of Alexie Demie, Florence Pugh, Sydney Sweeney and Sky Ferreira in a gruelling ‘bootcamp’ audition process that involved 11-hour days of acting, dancing and singing crash courses.

Murmurings of a Madge flick date back to 2016, when Universal acquired the rights to a film called Blond Ambition, named after the singer’s 1990 world tour. Elyse Hollander had written the screenplay and Brett Ratner was slated to produce, however production was halted after Madonna heavily criticised the film’s direction. “Only I can tell my story”, she declared in a now-archived Instagram post, “anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool… Why would Universal Studios want to make a movie about me based on a script that is all lies???”

To remedy these so-called lies, Madonna decided to pick up the pen herself, starting work on a brand new script with Oscar-winning Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody in 2020. According to the singer, the film would focus on her “struggle as an artist trying to survive in a man’s world,” and include her early 80s social circle of Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Jean Michel-Basquiat.

But, alas, the dream is dead. We’ll no longer get to see Julia Garner in the iconic JPG cone bra, or snogging Britney at the VMAs, or snogging Drake at Coachella. Madonna has so cruelly taken that away from us. But seeing as her 2008 Sticky & Sweet tour was the highest-grossing by a female artist in history, we can’t really blame her for packing it in and hitting the road once again. Get that bag, queen.

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