After an extensive casting search, Universal has finally found their Queen of Pop. Per Variety, Julia Garner (Ozark, Inventing Anna) has been offered the role of Madonna in a biopic on the singer-songwriter. Garner, known primarily for her work in two major Netflix shows, earned the role over an impressive list of actresses that included Florence Pugh (Little Women) and singer Bebe Rexha.
It’s expected that Garner will accept the role, with performances like this turning out quite well for actors. None other than Madonna herself will be directing the film, with Amy Pascal (Barbie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) producing. Additional roles, a production schedule, and a release date are not known at this time. The film will follow the early days of the music icon and her rise to stardom.
The audition process for the film was said to be grueling, and took quite some time to complete. Aside from Pugh and Rexha, names like Alexa Demie (Euphoria), Odessa Young (Assassination Nation), and Sky Ferreira also auditioned. Supposedly, these auditions consisted of 11-hour choreography sessions, in addition to reading and singing sessions with Madonna herself. The focus of the film will be music, in addition to the untold stories of Madonna‘s own life. As she claimed, “It’s essential to share the roller coaster ride of my life with my voice and vision.”
Garner has yet to have a real breakout role on the big screen, and it’s hard to imagine a better opportunity than this. It’s critical to remember that she is a two-time Emmy Award winner for her work as Ruth Langmore on Ozark. Most fans would probably agree she is the standout of that series, which is no small feat when acting against names like Laura Linney and Jason Bateman. She also gathered a lot of attention earlier this year for her role as Anna Delvey in the Netflix series Inventing Anna. A role like Madonna could not come at a better time, as Ozark recently concluded its run and Inventing Anna was a miniseries.
This news comes right on the heels of another potential star-making performance with Austin Butler in Baz Luhrmann‘s Elvis. That role similarly had an extensive casting search, with the likes of Harry Styles, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson vying to play The King. Notable actors that have gathered Academy Awards for these kinds of performances are Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray, Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, and Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter.
There is currently no release date or window for the Madonna biopic.