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February 2008

Madonna going strong at 50

Madonna says she has 'come around' to the idea of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a March 10 ceremony in New York City.
Initially, the 49-year-old Material Girl was hesitant about the tribute that will see her career honoured alongside fellow 2008 inductees such as Canadian Leonard Cohen.
'I heard about it and I kind of felt ambivalent, like, 'What is that, the place they put musical dinosaurs?'' Madonna told reporters from around the globe yesterday, including Sun Media in a Canadian print exclusive. She has just started promoting her new hip-hop and R&B-drenched dance album, Hard Candy, due in stores April 29.
'I didn't really know what to think of it,' she said, 'but then lots of people explained to me that it's an acknowledgement of singers and songwriters who have made a contribution in the world of music for 25 years, and so eventually I came around to the idea that it was flattering.'
And she's pleased that she will be inducted by one of her Hard Candy collaborators, Justin Timberlake, who co-wrote many of the songs and sings on the new album, including the Timbaland-produced first single, Four Minutes. Timberlake also appears in the video alongside her as two superheroes trying to save the world.
'It was Justin who offered and kind of surprised me, when we were shooting the video - he said he wanted to be the person to induct me, so to speak, so I said, 'Okay,'' said Madonna, who added how the rest of the induction evening will unfold is up in the air.
'It's supposed to be a surprise for me - somebody sings one of my songs,' she said before adding, 'Yikes! No, I'm just kidding. I don't know.'
The Material Girl - dressed in a snug-fitting, low-cut black top, black pants and large yellow hoop earrings and yellow high heels - entered a small conference room at a Beverly Hills hotel late yesterday afternoon and uttered a quiet 'hi' before being seated. And for the next 35 minutes, she proved to be a challenging, if funny and thoughtful, interview subject.
For example, if she didn't like a question - such as the one about how her views on life and music had changed in her 20s, 30s, 40s - she'd take a pass.
'That's like a gigantic question - I'm not answering that question, be more specific,' Madonna said, before getting the journalist to narrow it down to music. 'We'll be here for six hours if you want to know how my views on life have changed over the past 30 years.'
One popular topic was of her turning 50 on August 16, which seemed to be a much bigger deal for reporters than Madonna herself.
'It's not a bad word, you can say it,' she said when one reporter whispered '5-0.'
And when the same reporter asked her about reaching 'a landmark for a lady,' she made the journalist clarify that to it's 'a landmark for everybody.'
She said she doesn't see turning 50 as a milestone.
'No, but everybody else keeps mentioning it,' she said. 'I see it as another excuse to have a birthday party.'
In fact, Madonna said physically, 'I feel stronger now than, maybe, 20 years ago - but I think your physicality is connected to your consciousness so if your mind is strong, your body will be strong.'
She also bristled when asked how much longer she wants to make music.
'I haven't the slightest idea, everyone wants to know the numbers,' Madonna said.
Speaking of which, Hard Candy will be her final studio record with Warner after a 26-year relationship. But she says it's neither scary nor liberating to leave.
Her new, reported $120-million deal with Live Nation includes albums, touring and merchandising.
'It's just the end of my contract and the record industry is changing. And so the way that I make music and the way that I get it out to the people and the way that we market it and release it will also have to change,' she said. 'I'm excited about my new deal because it's more of a partnership, and after 25 years I feel like I deserve to be a partner.'

From CANOE/JAM! By Jane Stevenson

Events: Images of Madonna in Vanity Fair

Whilst the Vanity Fair Photographic exhibition is running at the National Portrait Gallery in London there are series of talks - including one about images of Madonna in the magazine. For more information visit

Thursday 06 March 13:15
Talk: Images of Madonna in Vanity Fair
Ondaatje Wing Theatre

The 'Material Girl' has appeared on the front cover of Vanity Fair nine times, more than any other cover star in the history of the magazine. A discussion of Madonna's iconography and the photographers with whom she has made Vanity Fair a testing ground for her image transformations over more than twenty years including Herb Ritts, Steven Meisel and Mario Testino.

Thanks to James

Ludacris: I was starstruck

Even Madonna takes a back seat sometimes. Rapper Ludacris told us she often dropped in on her director hubby, Guy Ritchie, during filming in London of his new flick, 'RocknRolla,' about a Russian mobster. 'She would hang in the background and not really talk to anyone,' said Ludacris at Tuesday's R&B Live show at Spotlight Live. 'She was cool....She was there to support her husband,' he said. 'But everyone knew she was there. I was starstruck.' Thandie Newton and Gerard Butler also star in the movie.

From / NY Post - thanks to Jonathan

Hard Candy tracklisting revealed

Radio DJ Sonia Kruger from Australian radio station MIX 106.5 had the chance to listen to the new Madonna Album Hard Candy in Los Angeles just before she interviewed Madonna. Sonia published the full tracklist on her blog here.

As I write I’m in between having just listened to Madonna’s yet-to-be-released album and actually interviewing her. I quite enjoyed the new album - lots of songs that are relationship-based and there’s this one particular track which is a classic dance track.
The first single '4 Minutes' has a great marching band feel to it – loved it! All the tracks have fantastic energy and there’s not a single track on the album that’s not a winner - brilliant stuff. The single will be released in late March and the album hits stores on the 29th of April.

Fans shouldn't panic - the release date on the tracklisting sheet is an error (I hope) - we certainly don't want to have to wait until 2009 for the album!

Thanks to Micheal

World's media interview Madonna

Some of the world's media have been descending on Los Angeles this week to listen to Hard Candy and interview Madonna. Although many of the interviews will not be broadcast or published until the release of the album in April one reporter from Radio 538 in Holland has given some information away:

Daphne Bunskoek from Radio 538 said she'd just been talking to Madonna and the interview only lasted for about 15 minutes and Madonna seemed tired.
Daphne thought she was stopped earlier than expected due to some silly questions, she was told not to ask questions about Britney Spears.
Madonna seemed very reserved, but she was friendly, but mentioned she only wanted to discuss the new album.
The interview will be broadcast on RTL 4 in the middle of April when the album is due for release in Holland.
Daphne was very impressed with Madonna's beauty and how small she was.
She also spoke to Madonna on her Live Nation contract. Madonna did not want to hear anything about the fact that she would be 60 when the contract will end.
Daphne said she had listenend to the album and that it was amazing but that there was a definite Madonna touch.

Thanks to Kimberley at /

Sleep-deprived published this funny piece on Madonna's wait for jury service on Monday:

Who knew Madonna was so fun? While serving jury duty Monday in LA, sources said she 'complained that she got only three hours of sleep because of her Oscar party Sunday night, and then asked another juror if she could lie down on the bench.'
One spy said, 'She was laughing with jurors and said she hated the movie 'Enchanted.''
When the court started calling out jurors' names, Madonna 'got up to stand in the unemployed line and joked, 'I'm gonna tell them I'm an unemployed mom.''

Thanks to sj

Madonna's Hard Candy

Madonna has dubbed her final album of new material for her longtime Warner Bros. label 'Hard Candy,' and will release it on April 29, her publicist confirmed on Tuesday.
The album, which features such songs as 'Candy Store' and the first single 'Four Minutes,' is the follow-up to 'Confessions on a Dance Floor,' which debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart in November 2005.
The title and release date were first reported by Entertainment Weekly's Web site (, and the details were confirmed by Madonna's spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg. Entertainment Weekly quoted Rosenberg as saying the 49-year-old singer 'loves candy.'
'Hard Candy' will be Madonna's last studio release for Warner Bros. before she begins a wide-ranging 10-year recording, touring and merchandising deal with Artist Nation, a new initiative launched by concert promoter Live Nation. Warner Bros., a unit of Warner Music Group Corp will also release a hits collection.

From Reuters Via Yahoo! News

Madonna's album title, release date confirmed

The title of Madonna's forthcoming album will be Hard Candy, has learned exclusively.
The record, her last studio effort for Warner Bros., includes a track called 'Candy Store.'
Madonna chose to stick with the sweet theme because 'she loves candy,' says her longtime rep Liz Rosenberg. 'It's about the juxtaposition of tough and sweetness, or as Madonna so eloquently expressed 'I'm gonna kick your ass, but it's going to make you feel good.''
The album, which features Justin Timberlake on multiple tracks and production by Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, and Nate 'Danja' Hills, will see a U.S. release on April 29.
The first single, 'Four Minutes,' will be out at the end of March.


Justin to induct Madonna in Rock Hall of Fame

Justin Timberlake will induct Madonna into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the organization's March 10 ceremony, a rep for the Hall confirmed to MTV News Tuesday 26 February.
Perhaps Timberlake is returning a favor from his 27th birthday last month, when Madonna presented him with a cupcake and champagne and sang him 'Happy Birthday' on the set of the video for her song '4 Minutes to Save the World.' The track features JT as well as Timbaland; the two collaborated on several songs for Madonna's forthcoming LP.
Other inductors include Tom Hanks (for '60s group the Dave Clark Five - appropriate because he played the manager of a similar group in the 1996 film 'That Thing You Do'), Lou Reed (for folk legend Leonard Cohen), Billy Joel (for John Mellencamp), Ben Harper (for blues harmonica player Little Walter), Jerry Butler (for legendary soul producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff) and John Fogerty (for instrumental group the Ventures).
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will take place at New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel on March 10.

From MTV News

New Album: 'A very different sound for Madonna'

Madonna's new album will feature 'a very different sound for her', according to the production team working on the record.
The pop superstar is expected to release her first new material since 2005's 'Confessions On A Dancefloor' later this year.
Much of it has been produced by Timbaland and studio side-kick Nate 'Danja' Hills, who worked on Justin Timberlake's 'FutureSex/LoveSounds'.
Danja says fans can expect a new direction from Madonna. 'She wanted up-tempo, dance, club music, and for everything to have a hip-hop underlining', he said.
Speaking about work on her 11th studio album, Danja explained her attitude to the recordings, commenting: 'She was very down-to-earth, very cool person, very easy.'

From Dotmusic

Madonna not required for jury service

Madonna spent four hours in a Beverly Hills courtroom yesterday when she was called for jury service.
The singer looked exhausted when she arrived at the court after spending the previous night partying with Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore at her post-Oscars bash.
The Daily Mail reports that she hid behind sunglasses as her bag was searched and she was given a special juror's badge.
She spent her time sending text messages and drinking coffee and was at one point overheard complaining that she had managed only three hours sleep.
She was eventually dismissed after being told that she would not be needed on the jury for the forthcoming trial.

From Digital Spy

Oscar parties truely awesome

The annual Vanity Fair Oscars after-party may have been canceled, but the outrageous bashes thrown by Madonna and Prince more than filled the void. Madonna's spectacular gathering at her manager Guy Oseary's Westside Hills home Sunday night drew Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, fresh-out-of-rehab Eva Mendes, Owen Wilson, Christian Slater, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi (who came from Elton John's fund-raiser), Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz, all of whom boogied to music by DJ JusSke.
'There were Le Tourment Vert absinthe fountains flowing all night - it was insane,' said one partygoer. 'Diddy grabbed the mike rallying everyone to dance. Elton John and David Furnish were getting down,' said our source.
By midnight, everyone had siphoned off to Prince's $15 million Beverly Park mansion, where the Klipsch-sponsored bash continued until 6 in the morning.

From NY Post / - thanks to Jonathan

Like A Juror are reporting that Madonna turned up at the Beverly Hills Courthouse for jury duty today!

Madonna was wearing a dark brown velour Juicy Couture sweatsuit, sunglasses, tennis shoes and her Juror badge, whilst sipping on Starbucks. While waiting to be called to court she was busy texting on a red cell phone in the hallway.

The video should appear later online at

Thanks to Margit

U2, Madonna in talks for World Peace gigs

£World Peace One is in talks with many of the world’s top acts to stage a series of international concerts to bring peace to the world.
The shows, which are scheduled to kick off May 17 could feature performances from U2, Madonna, Led Zeppelin and Justin Timberlake, among others.
The not-for-profit group is attempting to bring peace through a 10-year campaign via concerts, education and government initiatives, reports , ZZ Top, Lionel Richie, Celine Dion, INXS, Velvet Revolver, and Timbaland, are among the acts in talks with the organisation, according to the group’s founder Doug Ivanovich.
The concerts will kick off May 17 with shows in Beijing, Istanbul, Turkey, London, Johannesburg; and Miami, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Colombia and India, the report says.
Concert organisers at World Peace One include former executives from Woodstock and Live Earth and the group are currently building relationships with the world’s top promoters to make the shows happen.


Madonna to host post-Oscars party

The Academy Awards are taking place on Sunday, and many celebrities were without an after-party to go to after Vanity Fair cancelled their annual A-list post-Oscars party. However Variety are now reporting that Madonna, Guy Oseary and Demin Moore have organized a party to fill the gap:

One contender to fill this black-tie social vacuum is the party Madonna, her manager Guy Oseary and Demi Moore have put together at the last minute.
Whether this affair becomes an annual event hasn't been decided.
The party, to be held in a home in the Westside hills, will begin around 9 p.m. A few hundred people are invited, although this number will probably expand. One person who's seen the guest list said, 'Everybody's on it. It gives the A-list Vanity Fair crowd someplace to go to. It will probably be pared down to where it's 85% talent, not a lot of suits.'

More on the Danja collaboration

The The Rhapsody Editorial Music Blog has published a new interview with Danja, which included a couple of questions about his work on Madonna's new album:

Are you still working on Madonna's album?
Actually Madonna is finished. Me and Tim did four or five (songs) together. He also did three more with a new producer, Hannon, out of Virginia. Then Pharrell did the rest. So it’s like a Virginia-produced album. I’m actually kind of proud of that. Even though me and Tim and Pharrell didn’t work together, just for us to completely conquer an artist such as Madonna....I’m good. Either way, whether we got a single or (Pharrell) got a single, Virginia got a (Madonna) single.

What was the vibe like?
She was cool. She had a dark sense of humor that I can’t explain. She might just say something crazy that you might feel is out of line. But it’s not. It’s just her sense of humor. She was in the studio chilling with us, being open and the whole nine. With any session when you don’t know somebody, the first session is the hardest. You gotta break the ice, but after that initial session, it was all good. Another person that I worked with, Mariah, was really cool and so down to earth.

Madonna shot fools Monroe expert

A Las Vegas couple and a Marilyn Monroe expert have been left embarrassed after what they thought was a nude photo of the star turned out to be a shot of pop star Madonna.
Lawrence Nicastro, 73, said he found the grainy poster-sized photo at his home and thought it was a rare picture of Monroe posing as a naked hitchhiker.
He and his wife Phyllis then spent four months researching the photograph.
Mr Nicastro suspected it had been left by a customer at his service station in New York city in 1962.
The couple brought in Monroe expert Chris Harris, who confirmed it was a genuine, exciting find.
Harris scheduled a news conference to unveil the image but allowed some journalists a sneak preview.
They suggested the photographic treasure was in fact a shot of Madonna from her graphic 1992 book, Sex.
It displayed the singer wearing just heels and a handbag, with a cigarette in her mouth.
Harris realised the mistake: 'You're right; it's Madonna. If there ever was an embarrassing moment....'
He still plans to hold the news conference to 'face the music'.
'Who wins here? Madonna, of course. She really looks like Marilyn Monroe,' insisted Harris.
It is not clear where the photograph actually came from, but Harris said he believed someone had slipped the poster into Mr Nicastro's belongings as a practical joke.

From BBC News - thanks to Paul

Merchandise: The Red Collection Premier Prints

Towards the end of last year we brought you news of new designer art company the Red Collection; who specialize in limited edition contemporary art. Madonna was the subject of one of their very first collections.
The Madonna collection proved to be a big success with fans and art collectors alike and helped the new company to establish its foundations. Up and Coming Photographer, Designer & Director Ged Janczuk is set to introduce more varied collections of new and exciting works in the coming year as well as tentatively securing commissions to work with some big names!
As a first step to the New Year, the Red Collection has started rolling out its new Premier collections. Highly collectible and limited edition mounted photographic work in addition to the already popular large format lithograph prints. One of the first of these Premier Collections will be the ‘Performance Collection’ featuring some of the best talent in music. Madonna is no exception to this new collection.
A brand new limited edition 'Stars & Stripes' lithograph design has just been added to the Madonna collection as well as premier mounted photographic works being added to the 'Performance Collection'. And don’t worry if you think you might not be able to stretch to these premium prints as there are varied products to suit all tastes and budgets.

madonnalicious visitors get an exclusive 25% discount off EVERYTHING in the galleries. Simply enter discount code: madonnalicious during the checkout process (lowercase no spaces.)

To browse and shop the Red Collection visit

And for a limited time only: Anyone who uses the madonnalicious discount code will receive this free gift of a 10x8 unmounted photo (see picture below), embossed with a 3D seal of authenticity.

Dinner at Locanda Locatelli

madonnalicious reader Shah sent in this report from London last night:

Madonna and Guy had dinner last night at Locanda Locatelli. They arrived for 9:00pm but their table was prepared 10 minutes before they arrived - the wine decanted and ready.
Madonna wore a black georgette dress and her fur coat. She looked exhausted - no make up. She still looked stunning though!

Filth for download and a second movie

While her directorial debut 'Filth and Wisdom' bowed to mixed reviews at the Berlin film fest last week, Madonna isn't one to miss a trick when it comes to getting her work to the masses.
The low-budget comedy about three struggling flatmates in London could be made available first via download in the U.S. and U.K. and released theatrically elsewhere.
'I've been speaking to iTunes about releasing it through them,' the popstar turned scribe-helmer tells Variety. 'I want the most amount of people to see it as possible....I don't like to do anything conventionally.'
While her music career is marked by the constant glare of publicity, 'Filth and Wisdom' made it to the bigscreen with an uncharacteristic lack of hype. She fully financed the pic - which stars Eugene Hutz, Holly Weston, Vicky McClure and Richard E. Grant - with her own coin through her Semtex Films shingle. She co-wrote the script in two weeks with Dan Cadan, a frequent collaborator of hubby Guy Ritchie. Lensing took 16 days, with Nicola Doring produced.
She even pushed to get the film into Berlin's Panorama sidebar rather than its glitzier main competition or Cannes.
'I'm a beginner, so I think I should start off in an understated way,' she says. 'Just because I'm established in one field doesn't mean that's how I should approach anything else I do.'
And in a career marked by constant reinvention, the Material Girl is already lining up her next film projects.
She's producing Nathan Rissman's doc 'I Am Because We Are,' about Malawi orphans, and writing the script for her soph helming effort.
'It's based on a true story and involves two historical figures and a young girl's obsession with their story,' she says. 'Ultimately it's a story about the cult of celebrity.'
They do say to write what you know.

From Variety By Ali Jaafar

Events: Vanity Fair Portraits Exhibition

Throughout its history Vanity Fair has helped define the public persona of some of the most influential individuals from the worlds of music, sport, fashion, business, literature politics, theatre, cinema, and the arts. Vanity Fair Portraits brings together portraits of cultural icons from the magazine's vintage and modern periods with sitters ranging from Claude Monet, Amelia Earhart and Jesse Owens to David Hockney, Arthur Miller and Madonna, displayed with legendary Hollywood actors from Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo to Demi Moore and Tom Cruise.
This is a unique opportunity to see 95 years of iconic imagery by some of the most renowned photographers of the twentieth century, including Baron De Meyer, Edward Steichen, Man Ray and Cecil Beaton, as well as portraits by celebrated contemporary photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts.

The exhibition at London's National Portrait Gallery runs from Thursday 14 February until Monday 26 May 2008 - for more information visit

Thanks to John

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame VIP Pass Sweepstakes

VH1 Classic have contacted madonnalicious to let United States fans (over 21 years of age) know about a chance to win a VIP pass to Madonna's induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

As you know, Madonna is being honored with an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this March, and VH1 Classic is airing the official ceremony. This event is not open to the public, but VH1 is hosting a contest to give one lucky fan a VIP pass and fly-away to attend the show. It'd be great to let all of Madonna's fans know that they have a chance to experience this truly unique part of her history.

To enter the competition click on the banner below or visit

Rolling Stone previews five album tracks

Rolling Stone magazine have previewed five tracks off Madonna's new album - 4 Minutes to Save The World, Candy Store, Miles Away, Give It To Me and Heartbeat giving fans a teasing glimpse of what we can expect.

The article also gives a short description of the video for 4 Minutes to Save The World saying that Madonna and Timberlake play superheroes tackling physical obstacles.

To read the full article online visit

Thanks to denim1973

It's everything rolled into one....a classic album

More details are emerging about Madonna's new album. Nate 'Danja' Hills and Timbaland, who co-produced Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds, are co-producing some tracks on Madonna's yet-to-be titled album and Danja tells that the pop queen's next effort is 'very up-tempo, upbeat and urban - it's a Virginia-based sound.'
Madge was joined in the studio by another influential Virginian, Pharrell Williams, but Danja emphasizes that the album's urban edge doesn't mean the 49-year-old star has lost her pop cred. 'It's everything rolled into one,' he says. 'It'll be a classic album.' As previously reported here, Timbaland and Timberlake will appear in the video for Madonna's first single, '4 Minutes to Save the World.' The album is slated for an April debut. The single drops in March.

From - thanks to Fernando

Download: Exclusive Filth and Wisdom Speech

madonnalicious reader Anne Bonkowski filmed Madonna's speech at the film premiere last night and wanted to share it with fellow fans:

I attended the screening of 'Filth and Wisdom' in Berlin last night and got to record Madonna's full speech before the film started. I hope you, and all Madonna fans are happy to see this video :) The audience seemed to love 'Filth and Wisdom' based on their reactions during the film and so did I.

Fans can either watch it on the YouTube screen below - or download a higher quality version of the clip at this link:

Filth and Wisdom Premiere Speech (MP4) 3:10sec - 21.5Mb - Click To Download

Critics give Madonna a gentle mauling for debut

This report from the AFP shows that even though many critics were critical of the film, they couldn't help but find some enjoyment while watching it:

Critics slipped their knives into Madonna's directorial film debut 'Filth and Wisdom' on Thursday, but stopped short of a fatal twist and instead offered the pop icon a pat on the back for effort.
'Not much filth and precious little wisdom,' was industry magazine Screen International's verdict on the film which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on Wednesday.
'A good humoured, averagely amateurish vanity project,' said the reviewer, who criticised Madonna's 'creakily written' screenplay for claiming to satirise racial and social stereotypes while 'lazily perpetuating' them.
In the end, however, he joined numerous others in confessing to an unexpected level of enjoyment.
'While chaotic and more than a bit silly, the film in the end conjures up a surprising amount of goodwill,' it said.
'Filth and Wisdom,' billed as a London-based comedy, revolves around a Ukrainian immigrant who finances his dreams of rock glory by moonlighting as a cross-dressing dominatrix, and his two female flatmates.
Madonna said she aimed to capture the uncompromising drive of young, talented people who believe they can make it in show business against the odds.
Hollwood Reporter found the film 'ragged, uneven and potholed with some dire dialogue,' but acknowledged that its 'cockeyed optimism and likeable leads conspire to bring a smile by the time its done'.
Reviews in the German press were more scathing, but also agreed that 'Filth and Wisdom' had managed to save itself from joining turkeys like 'Shanghai Surprise' and 'Swept Away' in Madonna's acting Hall of Shame.
'Madonna has made a movie and it is utter trash - pseudo psychology, cheap make-up, bad lighting and a hell of a lot of scenes shot without rehearsal,' said the daily Der Tagesspiegel.
'But,' the reviewer continued, 'this crude business is all over as fast as a punk song and in that time you can have just as much fun. Not a good film, but a good surprise.'
The Frankfurter Rundschau called it a 'modestly produced comedy about survival' and argued that the film's dance and sex scenes were all references to Madonna's career as one of the most physical pop stars since Elvis.
'If you take her body out of her directing, then the film is nothing more than a picturesque little walk in the park. Just in the same way that her last tour was nothing more than a folkloric stab at subculture,' the newspaper said.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the film was 'youthfully carefree' in a review that was unable to resist the soundbite swirling temptingly around the project ever since Madonna announced her intention to take the helm.
'This woman directs like a virgin,' the newspaper said.

Madonna on her directing debut

Mention the words Madonna and movie in the same sentence and a snigger invariably follows.
If you happen to be a film journalist, you might even roll your eyes.
Strange, then, that about 500 reporters hurled themselves at one small door at the Berlin Film Festival, behind which the singer gave a press conference about her directing debut, Filth and Wisdom.
Camped out since lunch time, the shouting, heaving crowd of critics were determined to see the Queen of Pop - whatever they thought of her movie.
When she arrived, looking small and dainty with the air of Marie Antoinette facing down her executioners, there was a huge round of a applause for the 49-year-old.
'You are in your 50th year, but you look 21,' said one male admirer breathlessly.
'That's because you're not close enough,' was the star's dry reply.
And that was Madonna during the press conference - funny, forthright and at times downright flirty.
One of the singer's own songs, her 1992 single Erotica, was included on the film's soundtrack.
When asked by a Scandinavian reporter if her opinion of what was erotic had changed since her wedding, she said: 'Come see me when you're married.'
The conference director would often move things on if he thought a question was too personal, but I have never seen Madonna share more of herself than she did in that half hour.
And, whatever has been written about the movie, Madonna has put a lot of herself in it.
It deals with the struggle of three London flatmates - a male prostitute, a pole dancer and a pharmacy assistant - to find fulfilment.
'I relate to their struggle. I can remember it clearly when I was starting out,' she said.
'Not that I was ever a pole dancer,' she added hastily.
'I like unconventional. I was raised in the Mid-West and I never really felt like I belonged.'
When asked what her idea of happiness had been 30 years ago and what it would be now, she praised her inquisitor for asking 'a good question'.
'Thirty years ago it would have been to be able to feed myself, put food on the table and find my voice in the world,' she said.
'Now my idea of happiness is being grateful that I am still able to do all those things,' she added.
Madonna got her film to Berlin in characteristic fashion, by writing a postcard to festival director Dieter Kosslick, asking him to show her film 'if he liked it'.
'I am here as a first time film-director,' she announced to the conference. 'That's all I am today.'
Unfortunately for Madonna, she will not be treated that way.
Her celebrity may have got her a red carpet premiere, but she will be judged on that celebrity, too.
No wonder that, when she arrived at the premiere, she looked nervous.
While it is usually the press who feel trepidation at tackling Madonna, she admitted it was her turn to have 'butterflies in my stomach'.
'But the reception from Berlin has been more than I could ask for,' she told me. 'I'm chuffed, as they say.'
On the red carpet, reporters normally get one or two questions with the superstars, but Madonna seemed willing to linger and chat - as long as it was about the film.
'I want to carry on as a film director,' she said.
She revealed her next project is a documentary about Malawi which will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival.
When asked if she was now in competition with her husband, British director Guy Ritchie, she said: 'No, he's been really supportive.'
She also revealed she would not be reading what the critics write about the film, choosing instead to rely on what her manager tells her.
It is not clear whether she will informed of the scathing reports that have been created by the British press.
However, some of the trade papers in Berlin have been slightly more complimentary, at least acknowledging that the male lead, Eugene Hutz, a Ukrainian pop singer, gives the movie a certain quirky charm.
Meanwhile, a straw poll of the journalists attending the screening saw them sheepishly admitting 'they actually quite liked it'.
Many critics, though, wish that she would just be content with music, but that is unlikely to happen.
Madonna, a chameleon with her image, is the same with her artistry.
If she wants to try film directing, just as with acting, she will have several attempts at it.
If she has proved anything over the last 25 years it is that while others give up, Madonna will carry on.

From BBC News By Emma Jones