Madonna’s biopic drew a “big red flag” before the cancellation after star reps “freaked out” about the missing element

MADONNA’S biopic had already raised concerns about a “big red flag” long before it was canned, a Hollywood insider told The US Sun.

The much-anticipated project was shelved by Universal Pictures this week after the 64-year-old Queen of Pop announced a major world tour, although the decision may have been made before then.

Madonna's biopic had already raised concerns about a

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Madonna’s biopic had already raised concerns about a “big red flag” long before it was cannedPhoto credit: instagram/madonna
The project, which is set to be directed and co-written by the Queen of Pop, was dropped by Universal Pictures this week

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The project, which is set to be directed and co-written by the Queen of Pop, was dropped by Universal Pictures this weekCredit: AP
Universal executives were reportedly less than impressed with Madonna's bizarre social media posts

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Universal executives were reportedly less than impressed with Madonna’s bizarre social media postsCredit: INSTAGRAM/MADONNA

The film, which was first greenlit in 2020, was set to be directed and co-written by the Like a Virgin star herself.

Academy Award-winning Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody was originally hired to put the script together.

But in April 2021, The US 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.

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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.

Back-and-forth on the script was still ongoing when up-and-coming star Julia Garner was offered the coveted lead role last June.

The Ozark actress, 28, beat stiff competition from other young stars in grueling boot camp-style auditions.

A well-placed Tinseltown source explained that the lack of a script while the film was being cast was a talking point long before the project collapsed.

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 Universal executives swapped scripts back and forth, and that’s why Julia Garner ultimately never signed a contract, even after winning the role .”

The US Sun reported yesterday that the whole fiasco left Universal with up to $12 million “in the hole”.

That means that if another studio wants to pick up the film, Universal would have to reimburse them just to have the right to start over.

Also on Friday, The US Sun reported that Universal executives were unfazed by Madonna’s bizarre social media posts over the past few months while she was supposed to be working on the film.

She has been embroiled in several controversies after posting a series of outlandish videos on TikTok and Instagram.

The mother-of-six’s insistence on maintaining “near-total” control of the project in the meantime proved to be going too far and backfired, according to The US Sun insider.

When asked what could have saved the film, the source said, “If Madonna had caved in direction-wise on this thing that was part of her contract from day one, it would be a whole 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 backflipped to make this film.

“But Madonna didn’t even want to consider those ideas, and she never seriously considered an alternative.

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“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.

The mother-of-six's insistence on maintaining

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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 for The US Sun.Photo credit: Getty

https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/7248148/madonna-biopic-canceled-major-red-flag-missing-element/ Madonna’s biopic drew a “big red flag” before the cancellation after star reps “freaked out” about the missing element

CELINE CASTRONUOVO

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