In a doomed Madonna biopic, from the lengthy casting process to her refusal to ask for help and her “catnip” Instagram posts
MADONNA’S biopic was shelved after a slew of troubles, including her bizarre social media posts, a long and expensive casting process and her refusal to ask for help, a Hollywood insider told The US Sun.
Universal Pictures scrapped the project last week after the 64-year-old Queen of Pop announced a major world tour, although the decision is believed to have been made before then.
It was first greenlit in 2020 and was intended to be directed and co-written by the Like a Virgin star herself.
A well-placed Tinseltown breaking up the fiasco for The US Sun said it left an estimated $10 million to $12 million “in the hole” for Universal.
The insider explained that while she was set to write the film, studio executives were less than impressed with the music’s increasingly erratic behavior on social media.
The source said: “Madonna has done herself a disservice by acting strangely on social media throughout the trial.
“She signed on to do this film and that should have been the signal for her to stop the circus antics, stop chasing likes and just pull yourself together and get this film into shape.
“Their funny Instagram posts are always catnip for their die-hard fans, but they didn’t play well at Universal.
“Studio bosses have been watching what Madonna has been posting for those months that she’s been writing and scratching their heads.”
Madonna’s recent controversy on social media included posting a video showing her licking water from a dog’s bowl.
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She also took to her social media accounts and synced to a rap about slapping people in her “motherf**king face” with the caption, “Okay wait bitch.”
In October, the Michigan-born star left many confused when she appeared to come out as gay, before making the bizarre “confess” that she’s never been circumcised.
And in April, ahead of the Grammy Awards, she sparked concern with a TikTok video she filmed in a very see-through top and with what some described as a strange “frozen face.”
The odd antics all came while full-time work was underway writing and casting the biopic project.
After arduous auditions for the coveted role, Ozark actress Julia Garner, 28, was cast in the role of Madonna last June.
Young stars also auditioning included Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actress Sydney Sweeney, 25, and Don’t Worry Darling star Florence Pugh, 27.
The casting process has been described as a boot camp where actresses were trained with grueling 11-hour choreography sessions directed by Madonna.
They were also subject to readings with Madonna and further auditions where they had to sing in front of her.
Meanwhile, on the writing front, Oscar-winning Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody was initially hired to write the screenplay.
But in April 2021, The Sun reported that Cody, 44, had quit after finding working with Madonna too difficult.
Playwright and author Erin Cressida Wilson was later hired to work on another draft of the screenplay.
However, it is believed that a final version was never produced and there have been talks of splitting the film into two parts or even turning it into a mini-series.
The insider said: “When the casting process began in early 2021, there wasn’t a finished script and, quite frankly, that was the first big red flag for the entire community.
“Although stars like Julia Garner, Sydney Sweeney, and Florence Pugh entered the process with good faith and a genuine desire for the role, their reps were freaked out that the film still didn’t have a finished script, even as their clients got their vocal cords in shape brought and took dance lessons.
“Throughout the entire casting process, which took forever, Madonna and the Universal executives went back and forth on the script, and that’s why Julia Garner ultimately never signed a contract, even after winning the role .”
‘SURE TO FAIL’
The mother-of-six’s insistence on maintaining “near-total” control over the project has proved too far-reaching and doomed, according to an insider with The US Sun.
When asked what could have saved the film, the source suggested things might have been different had Madonna brought in a heavyweight like The Social Network director David Fincher or fashion designer and filmmaker Tom Ford.
The insider said: “If Madonna had relented in terms of directing this thing that was part of her contract from day one, it would be a very different story.
“Imagine if she could have gotten, say, Tom Ford or her and her ex-husband Sean Penn’s former collaborator, David Fincher, to come in and direct.
“The studio would have done backflips to make this film.
“But Madonna didn’t even want to consider those ideas, and she never seriously considered an alternative.
“Her notorious stubbornness may have been a key to the success of her music career, but it didn’t work nearly as well in filmmaking.”
The US Sun has reached out to representatives from Madonna, Universal, Julia Garner, Sydney Sweeney and Florence Pugh for comment.
https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/7264970/inside-madonna-biopic-doomed-catnip-instagram-posts/ In a doomed Madonna biopic, from the lengthy casting process to her refusal to ask for help and her “catnip” Instagram posts