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Madonna Set to Direct Ballerina Film ‘Taking Flight’

MGM drama is based on memoirs of famed ballerina and Sierra Leone native Michaela DePrince

Madonna has signed on to direct the MGM drama “Taking Flight,” based on the memoir of the same name by famed ballerina Michaela DePrince, the studio announced Tuesday.

Co-written with DePrince’s adopted mother, Elaine DePrince, “Taking Flight” follows DePrince’s life starting as an orphan in one of the poorest countries in the world, Sierra Leone.

But her life is changed when she is adopted by the DePrinces and moves to New Jersey, later becoming inspired to enter the world of ballet.

Since then, DePrince has performed with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the South African Ballet, and most recently as a soloist at the Dutch National Ballet. She has also performed on “Dancing With The Stars” and in Beyonce’s critically-acclaimed “Lemonade.”

“Michaela’s journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity,” Madonna said. “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 Madonna’s fourth feature project as a director. The pop star made her feature debut in 2008 with the comedy “Filth and Wisdom,” following it up in 2011 with “W.E.,” a drama she co-wrote about King Edward VIII’s affair with Wallis Simpson. In addition to “Taking Flight,” she’s also slated to direct an adaptation of Andrew Sean Greer’s novel “The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells.”

Madonna will direct from a screenplay by Camilla Blackett (“New Girl”). Alloy Entertainment’s Leslie Morgenstein and Elysa Koplovitz Dutton will produce alongside Ben Pugh and Guy Oseary. MGM Production president Jonathan Glickman and Tabitha Shick are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio.

Madonna is repped by CAA and Maverick Management.