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Madonna’s Biopic Plans Sound Like a Beautiful Mess

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Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

See if your quarantine project can top this: Madonna is writing a biopic with Diablo Cody, the pair confirmed on a wide-ranging Instagram Live on September 10. The Queen of Pop had previously alluded to a new project with Cody — between questioning the COVID-19 pandemic and enjoying her bathtub — telling fans a month ago that the two were writing together. Last night’s Instagram Live was a live writing session, starting on page 107 (!), which depicts a scene where Madonna’s sister Paula Ciccone confronts her in London while Madonna was there working on Evita. Along with writing lines like “Duh!” Madonna shared details of the new movie with fans. “The focus is really about my struggle as an artist, right?” she asked Cody, who gave the camera a few concerned glances in the hour-plus session. “Trying to survive in a man’s world as a woman. And really just the journey, which has been happy, sad, mad, crazy, good, bad, and ugly.” If that’s not enough for you, Madonna ran through some of the details that would be in the film, including her come-up in the early 1980s New York avant-garde scene (featuring Andy Warhol’s “monosyllabic answers to everything”), the writing of her hit “Like a Prayer,” and meeting Jose Gutierez Xtravaganza and Luis Xtravaganza, the ballroom performers who helped inspire “Vogue.”

As for the Evita scene, Madonna said, “I was totally and utterly intimidated by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and the story of Eva Perón, the real historical story, and living up to all the great singers and actresses who had played her before me.” She added, “I think I had a few nervous breakdowns worrying that I was going to be fired every day, basically.” When a fan asked her if Webber was “nice,” Madonna replied, “No, he wasn’t. He was not nice to me. I’m not sure he even wanted me in the movie. Thank God, Alan Parker did.” (A rep for Webber contested this in a statement to Entertainment Weekly: “She must have Andrew confused with somebody else,” Webber’s team said in a statement to EW, as if one can confuse Andrew Lloyd Webber with anyone else. “Andrew and Madonna had a very smooth and productive working relationship on the Evita film.”)

Madonna and Cody also gave some details of the film itself — namely, that it involves Little Women producer Amy Pascal, who told Madonna the movie could be two hours long. As for who’ll play Madonna, it won’t be the woman herself. On “who can fill my shoes in a movie,” Madonna simply said, “Someone who wears a size 8.” Fans have speculated that the star could be Julia Garner, whom Madonna and her manager recently followed on Instagram, as EW pointed out, and who shares her blonde, curly locks.

“The process of writing is pretty boring to watch,” Madonna said, although her messy Instagram Live was anything but. As she asked Cody to increase her font size and sipped rosé, Madonna explained, “This is how we write: We chat, we drink, we write.” Consider that gospel coming from a woman with a hit called “Express Yourself.”

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5 Ways Rey Is The Best Character (& 5 It’s Kylo Ren)

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Between Kylo Ren and Rey Skywalker, which is the better new addition to the Star Wars franchise?

The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy introduces some excellent characters to the saga, including main protagonists Rey and Kylo Ren. They have a unique bond that connects them throughout the films and makes for some great storytelling. In a way, they complement each other, with Rey feeling a pull to the dark side and Kylo feeling a pull to the light, and they act as a balance to the Force.

RELATED: Star Wars: 10 Ways That Rey Got Better & Better 

Both characters are similar; they both feel a pull to opposite sides of the Force and they both struggle to convince the other to join their side. Rey and Kylo are the heart of the sequel trilogy, and both have qualities that make them the best characters in the franchise.

10 Rey: She’s Brave

Rey’s journey begins as a scavenger on the planet Jakku. She goes to wreckages of old ships like Star Destroyers and makes a living by selling whatever she can find. She’s thrust into a world she never knew she had a part in and her bravery is part of why she doesn’t just turn around and say she doesn’t want anything to do with the Resistance.

9 Kylo: He Is Han & Leia’s Son

The Star Wars saga is all about legacy, and Kylo Ren’s journey throughout the sequel trilogy is all about his. He’s the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, so he has a lot of pressure on him. He kills Han Solo, something that haunts him in the next two films, and Leia is still adamant that there is light in him. His parents are part of the reason why he goes to help Rey fight Emperor Palpatine at the end of The Rise Of Skywalker.

8 Rey: She Sees The Best In People

Rey continuously sees the best in people no matter what they’ve done. She trusts Finn even though he was a stormtrooper for the First Order, and she always seems to have faith that Kylo Ren will turn away from the dark side and into the light one day. It’s one of her best qualities as a character.

7 Kylo: Helping Rey By Killing Snoke

Although he takes Rey to Snoke in The Last Jedi, he surprised both Rey and the audience by killing Snoke and helping her fight off his guards. It’s one of the most memorable moments of the sequel trilogy and displays why Kylo Ren is such a good character.

RELATED: Star Wars: 5 Reasons Why A Ben Solo Spin-Off Series Is A Good Idea (& 5 Why It’s Not)

In the end, he helps Rey in order to try and get her to join him, not because he wants to turn, but definitely shows how vulnerable his character his.

6 Rey: She Doesn’t Give Up On Kylo

Rey is the only one who consistently refuses to give up on Kylo Ren throughout the whole trilogy. Once they realize they have a bond in The Last Jedi, she believes that he can still be turned. Naturally, it’s a lot more complicated than that but she doesn’t give up on him, even though the majority of their time in The Rise Of Skywalker is spent fighting one another.

5 Kylo: He Brings Rey Back To Life

At the end of The Rise Of Skywalker, Rey uses all of her energy in destroying Palpatine and dies. Kylo, or Ben at this point, uses his life Force to bring her back and they have a moment together before he disappears because he sacrificed himself to save her. It’s his last heroic act and his time as Ben Solo was iconic.

4 Rey: She’s Strong

Rey is one of the strongest characters and Force users in the Star Wars Saga. While she struggles with holding back the darkness within her, we get to see some of her powers in The Rise of Skywalker. She singlehandedly destroys a First Order transport ship with lightning powers she never knew she had. She also channels the energy of all of the Jedi before her to defeat Palpatine.

3 Kylo: He’s Complex

Kylo Ren is by far one of the most complex characters that Star Wars has to offer. He constantly struggles with the pull to the light, with Rey and his parents still hoping he will.

RELATED: Star Wars: 10 Questions About Kylo Ren & Rey’s Relationship, Answered

He’s a character that’s been manipulated by the dark side and let down by his family, yet everything he does to hurt them he ends up regretting. Rey healing him and his mother dying is the last straw to bring him back, but even then, he’s never totally been on one side.

2 Rey: She Honors The Skywalker Legacy

Rey’s background is confusing and a little complicated. Her parents were nobodies but her grandfather is Emperor Palpatine, yet she finds the most belonging in characters like Han, Luke, and Leia. In a way, she chooses her family when she takes the Skywalker name and calls herself Rey Skywalker. It’s a fitting conclusion to her journey of self-discovery because she gets to carry on their legacy.

1 Kylo: He’s An Awesome Villain

Kylo Ren is a pretty formidable villain. His red cross bladed lightsaber is a threatening weapon and he has powers and a sense of darkness that he can’t control, despite being so young. He’s ruthless enough to kill his own father and he has a lot of temper tantrums, but he really is one of Star Wars’ best villains.

NEXT: Star Wars: 10 Things That Led To The Rise Of Skywalker 


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10 Star Wars Storylines That Were Completely Abandoned


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Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Borat 2’ to Release on Amazon Before Election Day

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The original “Borat” grossed over $260 million worldwide and earned Cohen a Golden Globe award.

Update September 29: Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to “Borat 2,” Deadline confirms. The sequel will debut on the streaming platform in late October ahead of Election Day. The movie will launch around the world in 240 countries on Amazon Prime. The sequel is reportedly titled “Borat: Gift of Pornographic Monkey to Vice Premiere Mikhael Pence to Make Benefit Recently Diminished Nation of Kazakhstan.” As always, Cohen risked his life to shoot the project in secret. Deadline reports the comedian had to wear a bulletproof vest on two different shooting days to stay safe in case a scenario got out of hand.

Earlier: A sequel to Sacha Baron Cohen’s blockbuster 2006 comedy “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” has been shot and screened “for a select few industry types,” Collider’s Jeff Sneider reports based on confirmations from multiple sources. The sources say “Borat 2” finds Cohen’s Kazakh journalist “thinking he’s a big movie star after the success of the original 2006 film made him famous, so he’s trying to hide from the public by pretending to be someone else, and starts meeting and interviewing people incognito.”

Cohen has been popping up in the news over the last several months for public pranks, leading many fans to speculate as to whether or not he was cooking up a second season of his Showtime series “Who Is America?” or a new project. At the end of June, Cohen made headlines for crashing a far-right rally in Olympia, Washington and convincing the crowd to sing a racist song with him. The event was a “March for Our Rights 3” rally organized by the Washington Three Percenters, a far-right militia group known for its gun advocacy. Cohen appeared dressed in overalls and a fake beard, and his song included lyrics about injecting kids with the “Wuhan flu.”

Another Cohen prank made its way into the news in early July when former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani revealed to The Post that Cohen ambushed a July 7 interview at the Mark Hotel in New York City. Giuliani believed he was going to be interviewed about the White House’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, but in the middle of the conversation with a female journalist a man stormed in “wearing a crazy” outfit that included “a pink bikini, with lace, underneath a translucent mesh top.” Giuliani called the prank “absurd.”

Near the end of August, a viral Tik Tok video of Cohen dressed in character as Borat speeding down the highway starting making the rounds on social media. The video increased buzz that Cohen would be resurrecting Borat for a sequel, but it was unclear whether or not this would be related to the earlier pranks conducted over the summer. Based on Collider’s plot synopsis for “Borat 2,” it appears Cohen was filming the sequel this whole time. A source described the project to Collider as “Cohen playing Borat playing Cohen.”

“Borat” was a box office winner in 2006, grossing over $260 million worldwide. Cohen won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, and the film went on to land an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 79th Academy Awards. IndieWire has reached out to Cohen’s representatives for further comment.

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Matt Bomer on Having to Emotionally ‘Go There’ With Jim Parsons in ‘Boys in the Band’

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A top-notch cast, including Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer and Zachary Quinto, anchor producer Ryan Murphy’s film adaptation of the groundbreaking play The Boys in the Band. In 1968 (the year the play debuted off-Broadway), bitter, boozy Michael (Parsons) gathers a group of gay friends at his New York duplex to celebrate the birthday of their sarcastic pal Harold (Quinto).

“This apartment is their safe space to be themselves,” explains Bomer, who plays Michael’s earnest ex, Donald, and, with the rest of the cast, starred in Murphy’s 2018 Broadway production. (Joe Mantello directed both.) If the subject matter is foreign, you’ll find familiarity in the themes, like the struggle for self acceptance.

Below, Bomer elaborates.

(Credit: Scott Everett White/NETFLIX ©2020)

Watching the film, it reminded me of what was happening then and what is happening now. Was that something you and your castmates talked about?

Matt Bomer: Well, of course. This is a piece that’s about the cost of stagnation. It was such a revolutionary act from Mart Crowley to have written this piece and put it on stage. It was the first real gay play written for a mainstream audience and so it was such a radical act at the time and took so much courage on his part.

But I don’t know how anybody in that time could have gone to see the play and not realized, “Oh, we need change.” This was written just months before Stonewall so it contains a lot of that ugliness and furor that happens right before a revolution, you know, between the characters. There is something in it that still resonates with people, particularly people who weren’t familiar with the piece coming into it.

How would you describe the relationship between Michael (Parsons) and Donald? There’s a friendship there but they also seem so different.

Formerly, they were more than just friends so they had that familiarity with each other. I think there’s an openness to Michael that’s really appealing to someone like Donald, who’s more of an introvert. I think they cared deeply about each other and if Michael’s character could control his drinking, I think Donald would be open to being more than friends but he knows that may not happen anytime soon. But he loves him deeply, and I think it’s very clear from the way they behave around each other in the first few minutes of the piece. You can see how comfortable they are in front of each other.

(Credit: Scott Everett White/NETFLIX ©2020)

How was it returning to the production and getting reacquainted with Donald?

I wish every movie I did I had done a full Broadway run of it first with the same cast and the same director. There is an implicit sense of trust amongst the ensemble, especially when you’ve had to do that play together where it’s all nine of you on stage every night. There was a comfortability between us and we had a sense of how we all like to work. Because we had lived in the material so much, it was great just to get to play from take to take and see how it translated to a medium that’s inherently so much more intimate.



You and Jim have such great scenes together throughout the film. How did you approach them, especially the one big one late in the story?

With all the scenes, I don’t think any of us wanted to rely on just going into it the way we did initially. We wanted to try to use things that we knew seem to translate well, that you find over the course of a run, but [also] be very open to things. Actually, I think in that scene [near the end of the film] it was really Joe Mantello who pushed us and said, “No, you’re not getting off the hook in this scene. You have to go to Hell. You have to go to Hell in this scene.” I’ll never forget that piece of direction and just gave us this sense of, “OK, we better … It’s time to just go there.”

The Boys in the Band, Movie Premiere, Wednesday, September 30, Netflix

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