Madonna has spent a few years living in Portugal. She called herself a “soccer mom”, relocating so that son David Banda could play soccer. Here she is bike riding in New York this weekend with her boyfriend, Ahlamalik Williams. And it seems like it’s not going to be a short trip. Because this is what she posted yesterday on Instagram: 


So she’s back in New York. She’s calling it a “new life” and a “reinvention”. Madonna made a career out of reinventing. She’s now 62 years old and she’s evidently promising yet another transformation. There’s a film emoji that she’s also included and that could mean that she’s moved back to New York to work on her biopic. There was some drama around it a few weeks ago. 

Diablo Cody was supposed to be writing the screenplay. Then came reports that Diablo quit the project. According to Entertainment Weekly, though: 

“… the pair turned in a finished, final draft of the script they spent months working on throughout 2020.


A studio source at Universal, where the film is gestating, tells EW that reports of the Oscar-winning Juno screenwriter's "departure" from the movie have been exaggerated, and that Cody simply completed her work and moved on to her next project.

Cody and Madonna recently delivered a completed draft of the film to the studio, which is looking at developing the current version ahead of production. It's unclear whether additional work will be done on the version the women turned in, as big-budget productions normally go through rewrites, treatments, and polishing before shooting begins.”

But here’s Madonna with Erin Wilson whose writing credits include Girl on the Train and Secretary, the excellent film starring Maggie Gyllenhaal for which she won a Spirit Award for her first screenplay. 


Clearly, then, Madonna and Erin are getting to work on whatever it is that Diablo turned in. And if there were creative differences, it means that Madonna, in the telling of her life story, wants someone else to take a pass at it. I want to know which Madonna is talking here. Is it the Madonna of Truth or Dare who recognised that there was more to that film than what was originally proposed and agreed with Alek Keshishian that the dancers’ lives and experiences had to be included and that the reality of their tour behind the scenes should be depicted? Or is Madonna cherry-picking the parts that she wants to focus on for her ego at the expense of truly compelling storytelling? It’s her life, she gets to decide, no doubt. But a great biopic isn’t just, like, here’s what happened in 1983 and here’s what she did in 1992. Great biopics present people, even icons like Madonna, as flawed, complicated… and complete human beings. Can Madonna truly see Madonna? I mean, let’s be honest, I’ll see this movie no matter what, but I’m so curious to see how deep Madonna is willing to go. And also, in the immediate, what this return to New York will mean for Madonna on the scene. Portugal took her away from celebrity action. What will Madonna be like, now that things are opening up after a year of lockdown, back in the city, as everyone and all industries, especially the entertainment industries, are ready to make up for lost time?