Madonna's Biopic Will Take The Insane Richard Pryor Approach

Madonna's Biopic Will Take The Insane Richard Pryor Approach

Biopics about famous musicians are all the rage right now, from the Oscar-nominated telling of Freddie Mercury's career, Bohemian Rhapsody, to Rocketman, which is all about Elton John, and sadly not William Shatner. 

Now it turns out that Madonna is throwing her pointy bra into the ring. Yes, we're getting the Madonna story on film and, somewhat unusually, she's writing it herself along with Oscar-winner Diablo Cody. Even weirder, Madonna is also directing her own biopic, which isn't totally without precedent ...

The only other time we can think of that something similar went down was in 1986 when Richard Pryor co-wrote, directed, and starred in Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling. The largely forgotten flick tells the story of a Richard Pryor-like comedian named Jo Jo Dancer who pretty much lives the life of Richard Pryor. And it was weird as hell. 

The movie opens with Jo Jo setting himself on fire while freebasing cocaine, as Pryor famously did in 1980. As a severely burned Jo Jo lies comatose in the hospital, his soul (represented by a buck naked Pryor) climbs out of his body and wanders away. The story then flashes back to show Jo Jo's life, from growing up in a brothel to becoming a popular stand-up comedian -- all while Jo Jo's disembodied essence (or "Alter Ego") observes his own past, Ebenezer Scrooge-style.

The results are sometimes goofy, but often poignant. Despite the name change, it's very clearly Pryor interrogating his own past in a way no other filmmaker quite could. While there's been no word about the Madonna project's casting, we wouldn't be opposed to a movie in which Madonna's ghost travels back to the set of Dick Tracy or something.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter! And check out the podcast Rewatchability

Top Image: Columbia Pictures 

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