Madonna Biopic Casting: 10 Stars Who Could Play The Lead

Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan
(Image credit: (Orion))

The Madonna biopic is officially back on track and it feels just like a dream. The Queen of Pop is directing, producing and co-writing the movie about her rise to fame with Juno’s Diablo Cody working on the script with her. Madonna is reportedly leading the search for the perfect actress to play her in the film being produced by Universal. Before the casting decision is made, let’s weigh in on who could be in the running.

Who can play Madonna… and be directed by Madonna as Madonna? It’s not an easy task for an actor to take on, but in the past few years performances such as Rami Malek’s Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody and Taron Egerton’s Elton John in Rocketman prove it can be done. Check out our casting ideas and then vote for your favorite:

Florence Pugh in Midsommar

(Image credit: (A24))

Florence Pugh

Our first choice for the Madonna movie is last year’s Little Women Oscar nominee Florence Pugh. The 24-year-old actress is coming off an incredible performance that had her starring in standout performances in WWE true story Fighting For My Family, horror masterpiece Midsommar and is set to star in Black Widow next year. Pugh has shown she can pull off a variety of roles, is the perfect age to play an up-and-coming Madonna and Pugh can sing too (just check out her old YouTube channel). She’s a fabulous character actor and we’re ready to see her take on a role that allows her to let loose, but also bring weight to the Vogue singer.

Chloe Grace Moretz in Greta

(Image credit: (Focus Features))

Chloë Grace Moretz

Whoa, doesn’t she look like Madonna? Chloë Grace Moretz is a natural pick for the role because of their passing similarities, but the actress has been showing off her acting chops since breaking out in 500 Days of Summer and Kick-Ass when she was twelve. After additionally starring in more mature roles in Carrie, If I Stay, Suspiria and Greta, moving to a biopic like the Madonna film feels like an organic step for the 23-year-old actress. She has a combination of wit and intenseness that could be perfect for the role.

Jordan Fisher and Sabrina Carpenter in Work It

(Image credit: (Netflix))

Sabrina Carpenter

Next up is Work It’s Sabrina Carpenter, who is a bonafide pop singer in her own right, with four albums on the books already at the age of 21. The actress got her big start on Disney Channel in the Boy Meets World sequel Girl Meets World from 2014 to 2017. Check one of her music videos below:

Sabrina has since started to break out with a stint in Quibi series Royalties and the Netflix dance movie hit Work It. She’s already trained in song and dance, she could undoubtedly recreate some of Madonna’s iconic music videos.

Lily James in Mamma Mia Here We Go Again

(Image credit: (Universal))

Lily James

Another great choice for Madonna is Lily James, who not only showed off her vocals for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, but did an amazing impression of Meryl Streep’s Donna Sheridan in her younger form for the musical sequel. It’s basically an audition tape:

Therefore, she’s got all the elements of a great Madonna pick. James has an entrancing way about her that she has also shown off in Baby Driver, Yesterday and Disney’s live-action Cinderella that she can bring to the Material Girl.

Julia Garner in Ozark

(Image credit: (Netflix))

Julia Garner

Are we spending too much time on the singing voice of the actress to-be in front of the role? Since Madonna is directing, she may want her own voice to shine through a-la Bohemian Rhapsody, which primarily had Rami Malek lip syncing Freddie Mercury’s voice. No idea if Ozark’s Julia Garner is a singer, but she just did some amazing impressions of Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani on Jimmy Fallon. The actress already likes to pay tribute to pop’s finest, and she’s been really incredible on the Netflix hit drama (she’s won two Emmys for) and received buzz for The Assistant early this year.

Kiernan Shipka in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

(Image credit: (Netflix))

Kiernan Shipka

Another Netflix star Madonna should look out for to play her is the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Kiernan Shipka, who is 20. The actress got her start as Sally Draper in the legendary drama Mad Men from 2007 to 2015 and since made a name for herself on the fantasy series, which was sadly cancelled earlier this year. What Shipka has shown on Sabrina is her youthful charisma that can be carried over to a more mature role with Madonna. What inspired me to think of Shipka of Madonna is the series’ decision to have her star in a music video in character earlier this year called Straight To Hell.

Samara Weaving in Hollywood

(Image credit: (Netflix))

Samara Weaving

We’ll just keep rolling with Netflix actresses, ok? Samara Weaving has been a bright star, particularly this past year with the release of horror comedy Ready or Not, Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series Hollywood and in Bill & Ted Face The Music recently. The Aussie actress is the niece of Matrix actor Hugo Weaving and just getting started in the industry. She’s 28, but easily can pull off Madonna in her younger years. She’s even got those baby blues.

Taylor Momsen in The Pretty Reckless band

(Image credit: (Razor & Tie Recordings))

Taylor Momsen

Another singer who could fill Madonna’s shoes is Taylor Momsen, who you may recognize from Gossip Girl or as Cindy Lou Who in How The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Momsen is a 27-year-old punk rocker who has been the lead in the rock band The Pretty Reckless for over a decade. She may not be active as an actress in recent years, but this could be an awesome comeback for her. Momsen has a cool edge to her that could enhance the Madonna movie, plus she’s super experienced being on stage and performing live.

Lady Gaga in 911 music video

(Image credit: (Interscope Records))

Lady Gaga

Alright this is a strange pick sure, but have you seen A Star Is Born? Put Lady Gaga in everything! In Gaga’s early years, the pop singer was certainly emulating Madonna and it might be awesome to see her pay tribute to the ‘80s legend by bringing those killer vocals and Oscar-nominated acting chops to the biopic. The couple downsides to a hot pick like Lady Gaga as she's a true artist and doing a rerun of someone else’s life might not be in her favor or overshadow the legacy Madonna is trying to leave.

Madonna in Crave music video

(Image credit: (Madonna))


The final pick we have for the Madonna biopic is… Madonna. Yes, the woman herself! Hey, she’s directing, producing and co-writing, might as well go all in right? The Irishman style, de-aging tech if she’d like it and just let her act out her life! This likely won’t happen considering the report detailed she is looking for a young actress, but we hope it does some of the time. Current Madonna could be this fourth-wall breaking Deadpool-like character who comes in and out throughout the movie to tell her story in hindsight. We don’t see an artist take the reigns of their own biopic very often (ever?), so why not lean all the way into this?

What do you think? Which actress is your top pick for Madonna in the biopic? Vote in the poll below and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more movie and TV news.

This poll is no longer available.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.