Madonna Biopic ‘Little Sparrow’ Puts Its Frontrunners Through The Ringer

Ever since Straight Outta Compton became a box office hit and Bohemian Rhapsody swept the 2018 Academy Awards, we’ve been seeing an extraordinary amount of musical biopics flood the silver screen. Some have been rather impressive, like Elton John’s Rocketman. Most have been rather paint-by-numbers and boring, like Respect. I normally wouldn’t cover them whilst in production, because it’s a genre that doesn’t interest me – show me the final product, and I’ll judge the lip-synching. However, it’s worth noting the current status of the Madonna biopic, due to the singer’s outlandish demands as well as the most anticipated casting race since The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

After a series of failed attempts to craft biopics in the past, Madonna has finally taken her life story into, well, her own hands, as she announced in 2020 that she was planning to direct her own biopic based on a screenplay by Diablo Cody, and titled Little Sparrow. Cody later left the project due to Madonna’s demanding nature, resulting in Erin Cressida Wilson (of indie cult classic Secretary fame) taking over writing duties. With a script mostly in place, it came time to begin casting. And here’s where things get interesting.

Madonna and her casting director, the legendary Carmen Cuba, have extended a wide net for the coveted lead role, and from the sounds of things every major actress under 30 is in the hunt. So far, we know that pop stars Bebe Rexha and Sky Ferreira, as well as current Hollywood It Girl Sydney Sweeney, all auditioned for the project, but either withdrew on their own or were rejected. We also know that controversial podcaster Dasha Nekrasova had an audition and shortly thereafter was summarily rejected.

After months of auditioning just about every blonde actress in Hollywood, five finalists were left standing, with three emerging as clear frontrunners. Sure, Assassination Nation’s Odessa Young and Mayor of Kingstown’s Emma Laird are in the mix. But the attention right now is solely focused on three names: Academy Award-nominee Florence Pugh (from Black Widow and Little Women), Emmy-winner Julia Garner (Ozark), and Euphoria breakout Alexa Demie. In order to continue their audition process, Madonna has insisted on putting them through “Madonna Boot Camp”: a several day, 11-hour workout and choreography routine to see who can live up to her life and legacy.

So who will emerge with the role of the Material Girl? The safest bet is probably Florence Pugh, but because I hate safe bets, and because Madonna started following Julia Garner on social media a few months ago, I’d expect the Ozark star to finally have her huge career-defining role. And regardless of quality in the final product, I would, one day, like a documentary or biopic about these five actresses going through “Madonna Boot Camp.” I’ll be back in the coming weeks with the announcement of who nabbed the most coveted role since Scarlett O’Hara.

1 Comment

  • Thomas Posted 06/09/2022 9:55 pm

    Let us pray Little Sparrow has wings to fly to the top of critics list and movie goers or it falls out of its nest and dies. Sadly, Madonna movies go either way either flying well or falling flat.

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