Laughing at all the haters out there who spend their energy trying to limit and label me with their prejudices and fears! Take your evil tongue and eye and turn them into birds that fly! Don’t waste precious time. Spend it on things you love! #rebelheart #artforfreedom
Madonna is getting back into the director’s chair.
The performer, who last directed 2011’s stylish period romance W.E., is attached to direct Ade: A Love Story, an adaptation of the debut novel by Rebecca Walker.
Bruce Cohen is producing the indie adaptation via his Bruce Cohen Productions. Jessica Leventhal, the company’s director of development, and Walker also are producing.
Walker, the daughter of The Color Purple author Alice Walker and civil rights lawyer Mel Leventhal, wrote about growing up interracial and with mixed religions in her memoir Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self.
In her debut novel, published October 2013, Walker creates a narrator similar to herself (the mother is Christian while the father is Jewish). The story centers on a 19-year-old American student traveling with a feminist companion in Africa who falls in love with a young Muslim man on an island off the coast of Kenya. Their hastily made plans to marry, however, get blown away by cultural and political forces.
Although very much a love story, many of the themes and subjects in Ade are those Madonna has touched upon in envelope-pushing ways at the height of her music career. Sex, religion, race, lesbianism all figure into the story one way or another. Already a fan of the book, Madonna also provided a blurb that appeared in promotional materials.
CAA is arranging financing. Madonna and the producers on the hunt for a screenwriter to adapt the book.
Cohen was a producer on Silver Linings Playbook and is working on adapting the graphic novel The Fifth Beatle.
Madonna, repped by CAA, also directed the 2008 comedy Filth and Wisdom. The Weinstein Company released W.E., which, despite curiosity, only grossed $583,000 at the domestic box office.
Madonna is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment. Walker is repped by UTA, Anderson Literary Management, and Shep Rosenman at Katz Golden Rosenman.
New York magazine (issue March 24th 2014) is celebrating 100 Years of Pop Music with 8 different covers featuring music icons Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Lou Reed, Barbra Streisand, Notorious B.I.G., Madonna, Jay-Z and Frank Sinatra.
Mention the name Patrick Leonard to a Madonna fan, and their ears should immediately perk up. After all, it was Leonard who co-wrote and/or co-produced many of Madonna’s classic hit singles like “Live to Tell,” “Open Your Heart,” “Frozen” and “Like a Prayer.”
The latter cut was the lead single and title track from Madonna’s 1989 album, which now celebrates its 25th anniversary. It was released by Sire/Warner Bros. Records on March 21, 1989, and shot to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 shortly thereafter. It spent six weeks atop the chart — her longest run at No. 1 for any album.
To celebrate a quarter century of “Like a Prayer,” Billboard spoke to Leonard — the primary co-writer and co-producer of the set — to discuss the making of the album and his recollections of working with Madonna. (Would you believe “Like a Prayer” was written in one day? And the entire album was written in less than two weeks?)
In our lengthy chat, we discuss everything from where Prince pops up on the album (it might surprise you), to Leonard’s all-time favorite song they did together. Not to mention those rumors that he’s working with Madonna on her next album.
In addition to his partnership with Madonna, Leonard has worked with many other artists, including Jewel, Elton John and Roger Waters. He’s currently working with Leonard Cohen on his upcoming album.
Billboard: When you were working with Madonna on the album, you had already worked with her on “True Blue” and “Who’s That Girl,” and you had worked with her on tour as the musical director for the Virgin Tour and the Who’s That Girl Tour. What was it about your working relationship that made it so successful? Clearly there was something very special between the two of you. Is there something tangible that you can actually name?
Patrick Leonard: The one thing would be that, in terms of musical spirits, like any good collaboration, we’re sort of on opposite ends of the spectrum, in terms of our approach to music.
I started playing the piano when I was three-years old, and studied music my whole life. It’s my language. And for her, it’s much more just about creativity, and a natural gift, what the impulse says is right.
So, that thing of, almost opposites makes nice chemistry. And it always did with us, because I could write something somewhat complicated and and somewhat complex — certainly especially in the pop realm — and she would respond collaboratively with something that anchored it in something very simple and central. read more →