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.
This article was first published by The Hollywood Reporter