Nearly two years ago, a Madonna biopic earned top honors on the Black List, a roster of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood. Last year, that script—Blond Ambition, by Alejandro G. Iñérritu’s former assistant Elyse Hollander—was picked up by Universal. Madonna swiftly caught wind of the news, posting on Instagram that “nobody knows what I know and what I have seen. Only I can tell my story.” Suffice it to say, she was not thrilled about the idea of a biopic.
But a documentary? On Monday, the first trailer for Madonna and the Breakfast Club, a documentary about the same early period of the Queen of Pop’s life as Blond Ambition, was released. Despite apparently treading some of the same territory, this is not the same film that so inflamed Madonna last year. Described as a “docudrama feature film about Madonna’s pre-fame days in New York with her first band”—the titular Breakfast Club—the documentary features interviews with Madonna’s collaborators from the era as well as what look to be pretty substantial reenactments of key scenes with actor Jamie Auld, perfectly cast in her first role, playing the musician. (A quick browse of Auld’s Instagram only confirms what’s in the trailer: The actor is a definite doppelgänger for the now-60-year-old soccer mom.)
Let’s set the scene. It’s 1979, in Corona, Queens. In the first scene in the trailer, Auld, as Madonna, wears a twee butterfly-print dress during band practice, singing lead. It would have been a rare moment out front for the young singer, as interviews with her Breakfast Club bandmates reveal—for at the time, she played drums, while the two boys stood out front with their guitars. When her moment came, she’d emerge from behind her kit to play her two songs.
As the trailer progresses—and as Madonna hones her image—she undergoes a visible sartorial transformation (accompanying the sonic one from Breakfast Club to solo star). “She looked like Bowie and Elvis, to me,” a voice narrates off camera. She goes from butterfly prints to pink-and-black stripes to leather crop tops and denim separates as she gets closer to signing a record deal. It’s not Blond Ambition, but the ambition is clear. See the trailer, below.