5 Things to Know About Blonde Ambition. The Madonna Biopic Script

No biopic could tackle all of Madonna’s life at once, so Elyse Hollander’s Blonde Ambition, the unproduced script at the top of this year’s Black List, takes on the star’s origin story.

When Ambition introduces Madonna in the early ’80s, she has a different look — more punk than pop, with dark brown hair — but she’s still the cool-girl musician able to shapeshift between corporate boardrooms and club appearances.
The script’s Madonna is desperate to ditch her band and cut her first album with Sire Records and a hip producer named Jellybean. 

Some of the dialogue is clunky — “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?” is an oft-repeated mantra — but the plot takes Madonna from a Russian Tea Room waitress to her performance of “Like a Virgin” at the first MTV Video Music Awards. Vulture was able to obtain a copy of the script; here are the highlights:

1. It’s almost a love story. John “Jellybean” Benitez is the movie’s leading man. At the script’s start, Madonna is waiting tables and moonlighting as a pop-punk singer downtown, while Jellybean is a high-profile producer with fans at Billboard. Lacking a singular sound, Madonna begs Jellybean to mix her homemade tracks. “Holiday” is their first hit, but their romance continues through Madonna’s early career. They become a pair of industry outlaws: He’s Latino and she’s a woman, but both are trying to take their underground sound mainstream. The difference is that she’s a saleswoman: No man in the script is as ambitious as Madonna, who pushes Jellybean away when he wants her to trade her career for their surprise pregnancy. She has an abortion and continues chasing her dreams instead. “Twenty years from now,” she eventually sneers at him, “the only thing you’ll be remembered for is being my ex.”

2. The Emmys are in it. Before Jellybean and “Holiday,” there were the Emmys, Madonna’s band, which included Stephen Bray and brothers Ed and Dan Gilroy (the latter of whom she once dated). In the script, Madonna’s the lead singer and headstrong hype woman; when the guys start to question her authority, she dumps Dan for Jellybean and leaves the band’s bad management behind.

3. Hair dye plays a crucial role. For half of the script, Madonna is a brunette who’s constantly being ignored for peroxide-blonde Soho socialites. Her decision to go blonde comes in a moment of rage after she’s been passed over again by label honcho Seymour Stein. As she’s armed with a bottle of hair dye, Madonna’s roommate asks her what she’s up to: “Making sure no one mistakes me for that shy Michigan girl ever again,” she says.

4. There’s some Cher shade. The script suggests the Madonna-Cher beef began on a red carpet with Nile Rodgers. Early in the film, Madonna seeks out Nile as he enters an event. When she shoves an Emmys tape in his face, Cher takes it, signs it, and quips that the band should change their name. As Madonna’s career takes off, Cher goes from an antagonist — she calls Madonna “a flash in the pan at best” — to a backstage hanger-on.

5. It’s almost as much about MTV as it is about Madonna. Blonde Ambition is Madonna’s origin story, but the script also shows the early days of MTV. Jellybean discounts the channel’s influence, but the script takes pains to show that Madonna was always an early adopter. The movie stops in the moments after her “Like a Virgin” performance at the first VMAs, binding Madonna’s image with MTV’s brand for life.

Source : Vulture

Danny Elfman’s “Dick Tracy” Score Gets The Royal 2-CD Treatment

dt1Danny Elfman’s exciting, tuneful score for Warren Beatty big-budget filming of comic strip hero Dick Tracy gets the royal 2-CD treatment! Beatty also stars, with support from mega-cast including Madonna, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, James Caan, many others. Legendary cameraman Vittorio Storaro shoots in bright comic colors, equally famed production designer Richard Sylbert realizes vivid art deco cityscape, Disney’s Buena Vista effects team creates fantastic matte paintings, other visuals. Add incredible makeup for wide array of monstrous villains and Chester Gould’s police detective rises from comic strip to real life on the big screen, earning three Academy Awards in the transition! Danny Elfman anchors with period New York vibe, then creates dynamic, sizzling orchestral action music with aggressive overtones plus gorgeous seductive theme for “Breathless” Mahoney (Madonna).
Unusual scoring assignment has Elfman writing his music with numerous ideas designed to play into, out from and circle around many Stephen Sondheim songs (issued at time of movie’s release and not available for this edition) while maintaining thematic structure of its own. Elfman succeeds! Even in brief, cues are dazzling, fully-realized miniatures! Main Dick Tracy theme is martial and righteous, romantic ideas are sumptuous and harmonically fluid. Robust and ravishing from start to finish! 1990 album offered just 35 minutes of score with creative edits and assemblies within each sequence. However, Elfman wrote and recorded over 100 minutes of music, including several alternates plus versions not heard in the film. Some of these alternates boast strikingly different ideas, others are more nuanced. At request of composer, Intrada presents original 1990 score album intact from digital album master, then features unedited cues as scored in picture sequence plus treasure trove of additional material. Elfman fans should be delirious! To prepare all the new material for this lavish 2-CD set, Intrada engaged original scoring engineer Dennis Sands to create brand new 2016 state-of-the-art stereo mixes from Disney’s 32-track digital session masters. Hear stunning array of new details! Fascinating to enjoy Elfman’s original album (a masterful presentation itself) then hear unedited versions of the cues with all-new clarity following their original 1990 mixes. All those additional cues and alternates are even more icing on the cake. Notes by Jeff Bond, rich graphic design by Kay Marshall, Joe Sikoryak with flipper-style cover art enhance this fabulous package. Early-ish Danny Elfman at his rousing, symphonic best! Steve Bartek, Jack Hayes headline orchestrators, Shirley Walker conducts. Intrada Special Collection 2-CD release available while supplies and interest remain!

Continue reading “Danny Elfman’s “Dick Tracy” Score Gets The Royal 2-CD Treatment”

Madonna Delivers Her Blunt Truth During Fiery, Teary Billboard Women In Music Speech

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Madonna — a global icon who extended her record as the highest-grossing female touring artist of all time in 2016 — was honored as Woman of the Year at Billboard’s Women In Music 2016 event on Friday (Dec. 9). And during her acceptance speech, she was fully ferocious, funny and brutally honest — in other words, she was the Madonna we’ve known and adored since she debuted more than 30 years ago.

Madonna, unsurprisingly, stole the show the moment she took the stage. Her weapon? Something you can’t contain, fake, reproduce or put a price on: Blunt, personal truth.

After opening with a joke — “I always feel better with something hard between my legs” Madonna said, straddling the microphone stand — she got candid very quickly.

“I stand before you as a doormat. Oh, I mean, as a female entertainer,” Madonna said. “Thank you for acknowledging my ability to continue my career for 34 years in the face of blatant sexism and misogyny and constant bullying and relentless abuse.”

Madonna’s sprawling, revealing speech took us back to her life as a teenager when she first moved to New York. Continue reading “Madonna Delivers Her Blunt Truth During Fiery, Teary Billboard Women In Music Speech”

“Carpool Karaoke” Video With James Corden On ‘Late Late Show’

Madonna was James Corden’s guest passenger for “Carpool Karaoke” on Wednesday’s “Late Late Show.”

The popular talk show segment features the late-night host driving around with music superstars while singing some of their biggest hits, and the Queen of Pop has now made her debut to the series. “Thank you so much for showing me around the city,” Corden said as Madonna sat shotgun in his vehicle. “I don’t know New York that well. Do you mind if we listen to music?” She responded, “I don’t really like riding around in a car unless there’s music.” Continue reading ““Carpool Karaoke” Video With James Corden On ‘Late Late Show’”