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Madonna has had a career that's as timeless as it is successful. But before anyone knew her by her singular moniker, or even as the "Material Girl," she was just Madonna Louise Ciccone, a Michigan girl with dreams of music stardom. Those dreams came true during her breakthrough singles in the early 80's, and the story of those early days are the highlight of a new script Universal has just acquired, entitled Blonde Ambition.
The project, written by newcomer Elyse Hollander, was the most popular entry on last year's prestigious Black List of popular unproduced scripts. Blonde Ambition isn't a cover-all biopic from the sounds of it, as the project distinctly focuses on her rising popularity, her love life, and problems with the record industry in the early 1980's. Other than those aspects, further details on the project are currently unavailable, but seeing as the film is in early days, it's no surprise.
For a script like Blonde Ambition, that Black List cred can go a long way, and this honor certainly puts the film in some good company when it comes to past nominees. Previous Black List scripts that eventually made their way into production include titles such as Manchester By The Sea and Whiplash... as well as infamous entries like Passengers and the still unreleased Patient Zero. That said, overall a better comparison might be better drawn to fellow 2016 honoree I, Tonya, which is a biopic that also examines the subject of fame, albeit from a more negative lens.
Blonde Ambition's development success is indicative of something that Hollywood has been pushing towards for some time now: diversity in the stories being told, as well as the people telling them. With a strong, female lead biopic in the works, Elyse Hollander's deal with Universal shows that the industry is making some efforts to break the mold. Though an interesting detail, that wasn't covered in the original report by Variety, we'll be looking forward to investigating is what Madonna's own reaction to the script will be, and whether she'll sign on as a consultant of some sort.
The involvement of a biopic's real subject has been known to throw a wrench in the gears of productions in the past, for example with the Freddie Mercury/Queen project that almost starred Sacha Baron Cohen. For now though, there's no plans for a production start date or release date for Blonde Ambition. But as soon as new details head our way, we'll let you know.