It’s a valuable resource that has launched countless careers and contained work that led to great movies, but taking first place on the annual Black List — a collection of the best unmade screenplays in Hollywood, coming up to its 13th year — isn’t necessarily a guarantee that your movie will go on to greatness. Some have been produced only to be greeted tepidly (“Things We Lost In The Fire,” “The Beaver,” “Draft Day”), a couple of outliers did go on to awards-lauded success (“Recount,” “The Imitation Game”), but most, from Western “The Brigands Of Rattleborge” in 2006 to 2014’s “Catherine The Great” biopic, remain unmade to this day.
But that’s not to say that it can’t happen. And following the exciting news that “Hunt For The Wilderpeople” and “Thor: Ragnarok” helmer Taika Waititi and “Fantastic Mr. Fox” animator Mark Gustafson are teaming up to make the 2015 winner, Michael Jackson monkey biopic “Bubbles,” into a stop-motion movie, this week has seen movement on the most recent Black List topper, with The Hollywood Reporter reveal that “Blond Ambition” has landed a home at Universal.
The first script by Elyse Hollander, who was Alejandro González Iñárritu’s assistant on “Birdman,” it’s likely to gain a lot of attention because it’s a biopic of pop legend Madonna. Rather than tackling the sweep of her life, it focuses on Madonna Louise Ciccone in the early 1980s as she records her first album, deals with sexism in the music industry, and negotiates a tangled love life.
Right now, there’s no director attached, though Brett Ratner is producing through his RatPac Entertainment, in association with Michael De Luca. Anyone you’d like to see take the job? And more importantly, who should play the Queen of Pop herself — Brie Larson? Jennifer Lawrence? Lady Gaga? Tilda Swinton? Weigh in with your thoughts below, and we’ll update with more news on “Blond Ambition” as and when it arrives.
UPDATE: Madonna herself has posted a photo on Instagram that suggests that she’s not overly happy about this news. Will that cause a problem for the project moving forward? It remains to be seen, but it might at least make things tricky…