Madonna to direct ‘Taking Flight’ biopic about war refugee-turned-ballerina Michaela DePrince

Madonna may be one of the most talented and marketable names within the realm of pop music, but it’s important to remember that she’s also played a role (plenty of pun intended) in making fantastic Hollywood films throughout her career. So it’s not too surprising to hear that Madonna is reportedly set to direct an upcoming biopic film about ballerina and former Sierra Leone Civil War orphan, Michaela DePrince.

According to Pitchfork, Madonna will direct the movie to be titled, “Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina,” which is being adapted into a feature film by the memoir co-penned by DePrince and her adoptive mother, Elaine. Born in Sierra Leone during the heart of the West African country’s 11-year civil war, DePrince became a refugee at a young age when her orphanage was attacked by soldiers. She would eventually be adopted by the DePrince couple from New Jersey, and ultimately went on to become a very accomplished ballet dancer. She is currently a member of the Dutch National Ballet, and earned the promotion of becoming a soloist for the company in 2016.

The upcoming film will not be Madonna’s first time at the directorial helm of a feature film. The ageless entertainer co-wrote and directed 2008’s “Filth and Wisdom," in addition to the 2011 biographical film about Britain’s King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson titled “W.E.” Many fans will recognize Madonna’s filmography from the acting side, having performed memorable roles in films such as the 1992 historical baseball classic “A League Of Their Own” and 1996’s “Evita.”

“Michaela’s journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity,” Madonna said about the upcoming project in a statement. “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.”

Fans outside of the professional dance world may recognize DePrince and her moves from the "Hope" sequence of Beyoncé’s feature-length video for Lemonade, in addition to her role in the 2011 documentary, “First Position.”