Madonna was announced on Tuesday as the director for the upcoming MGM film Taking Flight, a movie based on ballet dancer Michaela Deprince’s memoir Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina.
The plot centers around Deprince, who spent her childhood as an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone, only to be adopted and taken to the United States, where she later rose to prominence as a world-famous ballerina. The film’s screenplay will be adapted by Camilla Blackett, known for her work on the television shows Fresh Off the Boat and New Girl.
The “Material Girl” singer has some experience in the directing field — she made her debut as a director on 2008 British dramedy Filth and Wisdom, and later directed historical romance W.E. in 2011. Madonna also has a number of upcoming projects, including an adaptation of the Sean Greer novel The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells.
“Michaela’s journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity,” Madonna says in an exclusive statement. “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.”
This is one of a number of projects in the works at MGM currently being helmed by female directors. Other upcoming female-led films from the studio include The Sun is Also A Star, directed by Ry Russo Young, and a remake of the ’80s teen romance Valley Girl, directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg.
“We could not be more thrilled that Madonna will bring this remarkable story to the big screen,” says MGM president Jonathan Glickman. “There is no director better suited to tell Michaela’s journey with passion and sensitivity, and we cannot wait to bring this film to audiences all around the world.”