There’s no greater power than the power of saying goodbye to what could’ve been Madonna’s self-directed biopic about her life and career.
EW can confirm that the untitled movie, which was originally set to be released by Universal, is no longer moving forward at the studio as Madonna prepares to embark on her Celebration world tour.
A separate source also tells EW that Madonna still plans to make the film at some point, though her focus is currently on the upcoming concert series that’s set to hit 35 cities around the world throughout 2023.
Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images
Variety, which first reported news of the film’s indefinite hiatus, indicated that Ozark actress Julia Garner was set to star in the film as Madonna, though an official announcement was never made. Garner’s representatives did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
In January 2022, EW exclusively reported that Uncut Gems star Julia Fox met with Madonna to discuss potentially playing her life-long friend and actress Debi Mazar, who first met the performer in an elevator at New York City’s Danceteria nightclub in the ’80s.
The initial iteration of the film had been in development for years, with Madonna working with Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody on an original draft. However, Cody moved on to other projects after she completed the screenplay. Erin Wilson eventually stepped in to continue working on the story with the singer-songwriter.
Cindy Ord/Getty; Kevin Mazur/WireImage Julia Fox; Debi Mazar and Madonna
According to Madonna, the film would detail her “struggle as an artist trying to survive in a man’s world as a woman. She called the journey a “happy, sad, mad, crazy, good, bad, and ugly” tale of her rise to stardom.
In several social media posts throughout 2020, Madonna and Cody said that they strived to capture her life in New York City, the composition of “Like a Prayer,” the making of Evita, and her bond with Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza and Luis Xtravaganza of the Harlem ballroom scene, which inspired and contributed to the success of her 1990 smash “Vogue.”
Madonna embarks on her Celebration world tour with special guest Bob the Drag Queen (winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 8) beginning in July.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly‘s free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.