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Madonna Reportedly Insisting on ‘Grueling’ Audition Process for Biopic

"You have to be able to do everything," one source close to production said.

Madonna speaks at the MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Madonna at the MTV Music Awards

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

Madonna is looking for one “Lucky Star” to play her in an upcoming biopic.

The Grammy winner is set to direct her own life story for the big screen, from a script co-written with Erin Cressida Wilson. The project was first announced in 2020 with Diablo Cody as co-screenwriter; the “Juno” writer later exited. Amy Pascal is currently on board to produce. Now, they just need to find their Madonna among today’s A-listers.

Casting director Carmen Cuba reportedly has selected five actresses to undergo a Madonna boot camp of sorts, per The Hollywood Reporter. Oscar nominee Florence Pugh, “Inventing Anna” star Julia Garner, and “Euphoria” scene-stealer Alexa Demie all made the shortlist, along with “Mothering Sunday” breakout Odessa Young and “Mayor of Kingstown” alum Emma Laird.

The Hollywood Reporter also noted that singers Bebe Rexha and Sky Ferreira were previously considered. “Euphoria” star Sydney Sweeney was also in the mix, as W Magazine reported.

According to THR sources, the final five stars in the running will endure “up to 11-hour-a-day choreography sessions” with Madonna’s personal choreographer, followed by choreography sessions with the “Like a Virgin” singer herself. Callbacks allegedly consist of readings with Madonna, plus singing auditions.

“You have to be able to do everything,” one source with knowledge of the process said.

The yet-untitled film reportedly culminates with Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition tour and will require multiple dancing and singing sequences.

Garner formerly shrugged off casting rumors while on “Watch What Happens Live,” saying, “You know as much as I do” to host Andy Cohen, who pointed out Madonna does follow the “Ozark” star on social media.

Madonna confirmed that Pugh is a top contender: “She’s definitely up there on the list, if she’ll have me,” Madonna told the Associated Press (via E! Online) at the premiere of her documentary, “Madame X” in fall 2021.

As for how the film is coming along, Madonna said, “It’s a pretty crazy experience so far, I’m just in the writing process, and just deciding which stories to tell, how much detail to go into, which characters to develop. It’s really been a long and arduous process, but it’s been really therapeutic as well.”

During an October 2021 appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Madonna slammed previous attempts at studios taking control of her life story, including one to be directed by a man who had “no understanding of women.”

“I’m not even gonna say his name, but he’s a total misogynist [and he] was directing and I’m looking, ‘Why would these people make a movie about my life?’” she added. “There’s nothing true in the script, the guy who’s making it has no understanding of women. No appreciation for women. No respect for women.”

Madonna concluded, “This happened a couple of times and I had to like call people up — call up the heads of studios, call up my agents — threaten them and say that I will stand in front of the building and protest and make everybody’s life a misery if they go through with it, and they still did not take me seriously. So finally I just threw down the gauntlet.”

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