Deadline reports that MGM has found its director for Taking Flight, a feature film based on the real-life story of Sierra Leon orphan turned world-renowned ballerina Michaela DePrince. Based on DePrince and her adoptive mother's 2014 memoir, Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina, the Camilla Blackett-penned script will be adapted for screen by none other than Madonna.
At the age of three, DePrince's father was killed by rebels during Sierra Leone's civil war, with her mother dying of fever and starvation a week later. All three of her brothers died young, but her uncle sent her to an orphanage, when she was eventually adopted by an American family that helped her achieve her dream of starting ballet. DePrince would go on to make her debut at the Joburg Ballet in South Africa, but more recently, she's appeared in stunning Beyoncé's Lemonade.
“Michaela’s journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity,” said Madonna in a statement about the forthcoming film. “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 isn't the first time Madonna has jumped into the director's chair, but it's definitely the 59-year-old's highest-profile directorial project to date.
Madonna previously directed the 2008 comedy Filth and Wisdom and 2011's W.E. Camilla Blackett has previously worked on the likes of Skins, The Newsroom, New Girl, and Fresh Off The Boat.