Universal will make the film, to be produced by Amy Pascal and written by Madonna and Diablo Cody.

By Joey Nolfi
September 15, 2020 at 02:00 PM EDT
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Richard Corman

Madonna has found the perfect filmmaker to bring the story of her life to the big screen: herself.

Universal Pictures confirmed Tuesday it is developing the untold true story of Madonna's life as a movie, with the pop icon set to direct her own narrative from a script she's currently co-writing with Oscar-winning Juno scribe Diablo Cody.

The untitled movie will be produced by Madonna and three-time Academy Award-nominee Amy Pascal (Little Women, The Post), and will follow the entertainer's rise to prominence as the culture-shaping musician, actress, director, author, and entrepreneur she is today. Sara Zambreno and Madonna's longtime manager, Guy Oseary, are on board as executive producers as well.

"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 of the film 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 roller coaster ride of my life with my voice and vision."

Kristin Callahan/ACE Pictures

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chair Donna Langley called Madonna the "ultimate icon, humanitarian, artist, and rebel" with a "singular gift of creating art that is as accessible as it is boundary-pushing," which made the artist herself an ideal visionary to bring "her unvarnished story" to a film for the first time.

"This movie is an absolute labor of love for me," Pascal added. "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 with Donna and our partners at Universal."

In an Instagram Live session last week, Madonna teased plot details for the project, describing it as being "about my struggle as an artist trying to survive in a man's world as a woman." She and Cody also explained that the current draft of the script touches on the creation of Madonna's 1989 hit "Like a Prayer," the filming of Evita (which earned her a Golden Globe nod), and her discovery of the art of voguing in New York City.

To date, Madonna has sold 335 million records worldwide across her five-decade career, and remains the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time. Her most recent album, 2019's Madame X, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, becoming her ninth studio set to do so. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, and has earned 658 global award nominations for her work. In addition to her work as an artist, Madonna has long fought for LGBTQ rights and gender equality in addition to being an advocate for vulnerable children through her non-profit organization Raising Malawi.

As a filmmaker and actress, Madonna has starred in movies like Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy, A League of Their Own, and her celebrated documentary Truth or Darewhile she also directed the romantic drama W./E. in 2011.

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