THERE is more drama going on in getting Madonna’s biopic made than you will see on screen.
I’ve learned that her writer Diablo Cody has quit the project after finding Madge too difficult to work with.
The pair spent weeks together last summer writing the movie, which is expected to take an in-depth look at the early years of her career.
But Diablo — who won an Oscar for screenwriting 2007’s Juno — and Madonna didn’t see eye-to-eye on the final version of the film.
When the Hung Up singer announced the project with Universal Pictures last September, she revealed she would be both co-writing and directing, but now her involvement is threatening to derail it.
She didn’t look too fussed today though, as she posted these photos of herself smoking a suspicious cigarette and snogging her boyfriend Ahlamalik Williams.
My movie insider said: “Madonna and Diablo spent weeks working on the screenplay and made good progress.
“But Madonna is understandably very particular about how she wants it to be. She’s a perfectionist and because it is about her life, she is being very careful about how things come across.
“Diablo needed more freedom to be able to make it work and ultimately decided she couldn’t contrib-ute any more.
“Universal Pictures knows it could be a massive earner for them, especially after the success of Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, so are searching for a new writer.
“But Madonna doesn’t need the money and isn’t going to let a movie get made which she doesn’t feel is authentic to her experiences.”
When the film was announced, producer Amy Pascal said: “I can’t imagine anything more thrilling than collaborating with her and Diablo on bringing her true-life story to the big screen.”
However, they are not expected to formally announce her departure until a new writer is on board.
Brit Florence Pugh had been the most recent actress who Madonna was considering to play her, although casting is on hold until a script is ready.
Ozark actress Julia Garner was also in the running, while 13 Reasons Why star Anne Winters had put out a public plea to get the lead.
Whoever it is, they had better be prepared to put up with Madonna’s high standards.
READ ON FOR MORE OF SIMON BOYLE’S BIZARRE COLUMN
A record Killer
THE KILLERS’ Mr Brightside has scored a record five years in the Singles Chart Top 100.
The track was released in 2004 but this week hit the 260-week milestone, almost two years more than any other song.
Its nearest competition is Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars, on 166 weeks. Over the past year alone Mr Brightside has been streamed 65.2million times.
It was great 15 years ago, but surely there is something around a bit more uplifting than a song about being cheated on to listen to, especially at a time when there is so much negativity in the world.
Fit Gemma keen for Mara-fun
GEMMA Collins has got so into fitness in lockdown she now wants to run the London Marathon.
The reality favourite has been working out every morning and reckons it’s changed her life.
She said: “I’ve gone health-obsessed mad and I’m loving it.
“I am feeling so fabulous about exercise. Imagine if I could do the London Marathon. Maybe I could. I would love to do it.”
On her top tips for people to start exercising at home, she continued: “You can really do some creative stuff.
“You can lift your dog ten times – as long as it’s a lovely small dog – or you can run up and down the stairs.
“If you want to do squat thrusts, take to the toilet seat and squat up and down on the toilet seat. That’s a good one.” Err, I might pass on those.
Her new lease of life has also made her regret a previous effort to get slim, which involved a “skinny jab” which would suppress her appetite.
On her Gemma Collins Podcast, she admitted: “I kind of regret doing it but sometimes you’re in such a desperate place and want to lose weight.”
STEPS are to put out new album What The Future Holds Pt. 2, a follow-up to their December No2. The group, who yesterday premiered the video to Heartbreak In This City, featuring Michelle Visage, said the collection will feature ten new tracks and will be out on September 10, ahead of their UK tour which kicks off in Sheffield on November 2.
Stacey has lots to Style about
IT seems like everyone and their nan has a fashion range these days. Now Stacey Solomon is getting it on the act.
The 2009 X Factor contestant turned lifestyle guru has signed a huge deal with clothing website In The Style.
And insiders reckon she is set to make millions from the lucrative contract.
A source said: “Stacey is the ideal In The Style girl and getting her on board is massive for them.
“She has been approached in the past but the time wasn’t right. However, now Stacey has signed on the dotted line and will be releasing her first collection with them this weekend.
“It’s predicted she is going to be their biggest-selling celebrity ambassador, taking over from Jacqueline Jossa.
“Stacey has been told she could make over £1million in the first quarter because of her huge popularity. Her influence and reach is staggering.”
Not bad for a barmaid from Dagenham.
HAMPTON Court Palace Festival has moved from June to August, but the stellar line-up stays. Bastille will be at the South West London venue on August 17 and 18, with Keane on August 19. Sir Tom Jones will perform shows on August 23 and 24, while Van Morrison and Abba tribute act Bjorn Again also have concerts scheduled.
Fans given Vision plan
EUROVISION fans WILL get to go to the ceremony this year after organisers confirmed they will have an audience for the semi-finals and final on May 22.
The shows in Rotterdam will have up to 3,500 fans, as long as they have had a negative Covid test.
Eurovision boss Martin Österdahl said: “We welcome this decision by the Dutch government and the possibility that we can invite fans to join us as we bring the Eurovision Song Contest back in May.
“We will consider the options now available and announce more details in the coming weeks on how we can safely admit audiences.”
John Newman’s brother James is the UK’s entrant with his song Embers.
Lets hope the Euro judges don’t pour cold water on his fire.
Do you know THIS woman?
DEAR readers, I need your help.
An image popped up online and my showbiz senses started tingling. I knew I recognised her from somewhere, but I simply couldn’t place it.
At first glance she’s about 24, perfect skin, gorgeous smile, fantastic figure – she looks a bit like an extra Kardashian and presumably has the whole world at her feet. I can’t wait to find out more about her.
Oh no, cancel that . . . it’s Katie Price having been filtered more times than the kids’ pool at the local swimming baths.
Whatever you do, don’t dive in.
L-Mix shout out to Becky
LITTLE Mix have been at the forefront of British pop for the past decade, but now they are hoping to breathe new life into the group by making dance music.
The trio teamed up with the DJ Nathan Dawe last year for the hit No Time For Tears and now they want to make even more anthemic dance hits – reaching out to one of the nation’s most successful singers in the genre to help them out.
Becky Hill, who has had numerous hits including Afterglow, Gecko (Overdrive) and Wish You Well, revealed that Leigh-Anne Pinnock con-tacted her about writing a hit with them earlier this year but she had to turn her down.
Speaking about the group, pictured, whose other members are Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards, Becky said: “I’ve had a couple of sessions with those girls, I absolutely love them. I would love to be the fourth member.
“Leigh-Anne messaged me on Instagram saying, ‘We really want to write a dance song together’, but I was in recovery after having vocal surgery at the beginning of this year so I couldn’t actually make that happen.
“But it is something that I’m still very, very open to once I’m back writing music again.
“I need to recover my voice. I started sing- ing at the end of last month.
I’ve got my first proper singing session after having sur- gery, by choice, at the beginning of this year.”
With her new single Last Time out now and a tour planned for October, Becky might struggle to fit a session with the girls into her diary.
Ashley hint at Pete’s fruity passion
ASHLEY Roberts certainly caught the eye in this cherry jumper, but she made some comments which were even more fruity.
After I told last week how Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor had grown close to comedian Pete Davidson, the Pussycat Dolls star reckons Pete’s nether-regions sealed the deal.
She is convinced the US comic is well-endowed after he inspired the term “BDE” – “Big D*** Energy” – which means someone who gives off the confidence that they have a hefty package.
Ashley said: “He looks like he’d have a third leg situation going on. That’s what I’m imagining in my head, I don’t know why.
£20M LIPA YEAR
How Brit nominee Dua Lipa went from West London obscurity to £20m star
Kerry Katona signs up for SAS Who Dares Wins after getting fit
Stacey Solomon signs huge In The Style fashion deal and will rake in millions
Susannah Constantine slams marketing for contributing to women’s drink problems
DUA US PROUD
Women set to dominate Brit Awards with 4 females nominated for Album of Year
WHERE IS THE GRUB?
Madcap The Voice coach Will.i.am says he is a ‘liquitarian’
“Go on Phoebs, get that quarantine friend situation.”
Single Ashley feels she is missing out.
She said on the Heart Showbiz Hub podcast: “This guy gets around a little bit, doesn’t he? Some of these celebs are bounding around the world during lockdown . . . I’m jealous.”
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