The 2016 Black List winning script Blond Ambition has been optioned by Universal Pictures, much to the disapproval of Madonna, who is the star character in this biopic of her early career.
The Black List is a list of unproduced scripts that are nominated and voted for by over 250 film executives. Most of these scripts remain unproduced but Elyse Hollander’s Blond Ambition peaked the interest of Universal Pictures, leading them to optioning the rights to the script last month.
Set in 1980s New York, Blond Ambition portrays Madonna’s early years as she struggles to make her first album. It follows the singer as she tries to navigate fame and romance as well as battling an industry that has no respect for women. The script’s title comes from Madonna’s 1990 Blond Ambition Tour, that featured her early number 1 hits such as ‘Like a Prayer’, ‘Vogue’ and ‘Express Yourself’.
The rights to the script have been optioned by Universal pictures with RatPac Entertainment, Michael De Luca Productions and Bellevue Productions set to produce the film. Soon after this was announced Madonna expressed her protests towards the script in a series of furious posts on her Instagram. The first was a picture of young Madonna.
Universal Pictures haven’t got the greenlight yet for production, which could be down to the social media objections from Madonna. However, it wouldn’t be the first unauthorised biopic to make the big screen. If the production went ahead it could just end up being a massive headache for Universal, especially as Madonna’s lawyers suggested that she could own approval rights over her songs – leading to a Madonna biopic with no Madonna music involved. The main plot of the script heavily relies on her early hits ‘Burning Up’, ‘Everybody’, ‘Borderline’, ‘Lucky Star’ and ‘Holiday’, so a film without those songs wouldn’t really be a Madonna production at all.
“My life, my journey, my voice, my story. Let me tell it. When I’m ready! It will be worth the wait!” – Madonna (via Instagram)
As well as her various social media comments, there have been reports of her dismissing a lot of the content of the script, saying that the events are all lies. Whether the production will eventually get greenlighted is still unclear, but we are pretty sure that Madonna won’t go down without a fight.
How would you feel about a Madonna movie with no Madonna music?
Text: Laura Tozer
Images: Hollywood Reporter, Instagram, UPI, Square Madonna, NY Daily News