Madonna is still working tirelessly on the upcoming biopic about her life, and for a while, it was a mess, with people dropping out and being replaced at random. But it seems like there’s at least one train car still on the tracks, and that’s casting for the titular role. There were a number of names that were thrown into the conversation about who might play Madonna. The list included actresses and/or singers like Sydney Sweeney, Barbie Ferreira, Florence Pugh, Julia Garner, Alexa Demie, Odessa Young, Emma Laird, Bebe Rexha, and Sky Ferreira. I was personally hoping that Madonna and casting director Carmen Cuba would go avant-garde with it, and cast all of them in an I’m Not There-style creative multiverse situation. I’m going to have to keep waiting on such a thing, because it looks like Madonna has settled on her younger self being played by Julia Garner.
Variety reports they have learned that Julia, the two-time Emmy-winning actress from Ozark and star of Netflix’s Inventing Anna, has allegedly been offered the lead role in Madonna’s biopic. And it sounds like it won’t be long before Julia accepts that offer.
Garner has emerged the favorite from over a dozen candidates, one insider added, and has for months been speculated as a frontrunner for the part – a performance Madonna will shepherd herself as director. Garner’s team is considering and expected to accept the offer, said another source.
Variety adds that no one really knows anything else about casting. There have been internet speculation that Julia Fox is in talks to play Madonna’s longtime friend Debi Mazar, but that’s about it. And since it’s a movie about Young Madonna, we don’t have to spend a single ounce of time wondering who will be cast as Madonna’s current antagonistic nemesis, 50 Cent. Sad news for 50, because you know he would have loved to have played himself. Another opportunity to hate on Madonna? Shoot, he would have offered to do it for free.
Bigger than the gossip of Julia’s casting was the rumor that the audition process was an insane popstar bootcamp from HELL. It was said that all hopeful actresses were put through “grueling” 11-hour choreography sessions with Madonna’s choreographer, then with Madonna herself, then singing auditions, and acting auditions. Madonna has said that the music will come first in her biopic, so it was important that whoever was eventually cast in this thing could sing and dance like Ms. Ciccone from Bay City, Michigan herself. And there were tons of actresses involved (see: that list of nine actresses above). I can appreciate a 2-hour history of Madonna’s early years, but I think what we all want to see is an 8-episode HBO limited series on those harrowing auditions. Maybe that’s why Julia’s people haven’t responded yet to that alleged offer. They’re waiting for a better one! “Julia, it says here you landed the role of Florence Pugh in Live to Tell: The Madonna Auditions. Congratulations, I smell a third Emmy!”