It's been a while since Madonna made a move in the realm of film that felt exactly right — but that's what she's doing with the announcement that she will direct the ballerina drama Taking Flight ...
Though she has been preparing to shoot a film based on the novel The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells, it appears Madonna will first direct Taking Flight, based on the memoir of Michaela DePrince, who was born in Sierra Leone and went on to become a famed ballerina.
The studio has been developing “Taking Flight” since 2015, when it first bought rights to Michaela and Elaine DePrince’s memoir, Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina. The book follows Michaela DePrince’s life from an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone to a world-renowned ballerina.
“Michaela’s journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity,” Madonna said. “We have a unique opportunity to shed light on Sierra Leone and let Michaela be the voice for all the orphaned children she grew up beside. I am honored to bring her story to life.”
Madonna will direct from a screenplay by Camilla Blackett (New Girl). Alloy Entertainment’s Leslie Morgenstein and Elysa Koplovitz Dutton will produce alongside Ben Pugh and Guy Oseary. MGM Production president Jonathan Glickman and Tabitha Shick are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio.
“We were immediately awestruck by Michaela’s journey and know Madonna’s vision and passion for the material will deliver a film that inspires audiences everywhere,” Morgenstein said.
There are many elements of this work that would seem to resonate beautifully with Madonna — dance, adoption and fame chief among them.
Madonna's W.E. was half good (the historical part) half bad (the rest), and I think its weakness was not direction but the writing. Madonna will only direct Taking Flight, and I think that is encouraging. I think this could be her first critical success as a director. Fingers (and pointed toes) crossed.