Mariah Carey Eyes Adapting Best-Selling Memoir for the Screen

Mariah Carey - Getty - h 2020
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Mariah Carey snagged a spot on The New York Times best-seller list in October with The Meaning of Mariah Carey, her warts-and-all memoir that detailed a dramatic ascension from a low-income Long Island upbringing to the best-selling female artist of all time.

For the first time, Carey opened up on childhood traumas like being drugged by her sister and offered to a pimp, and providing more of the backstory to her troubled marriage with former Sony honcho Tommy Mottola. During a more festive conversation with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special, the 50-year-old said she’s currently in talks to adapt the memoir into either a limited series or a feature film.

It came up during a question about why Carey didn’t opt to direct the Apple TV+ holiday special, and she alluded that she is mulling over whether to direct the adaptation herself. “Me, and a secret friend of mine, are talking about that and what it would look like,” explains Carey, who already tackled the big screen in Glitter, also a rags-to-riches tale that was loosely inspired by her life. “People have also been reaching out to me about it, … people I haven’t heard from in years saying this has to be a series or a movie or whatever it’s going to be. These things take a long time, so it's going to be what it is, but I believe in it. I'm really looking forward to it even just as a viewer, seeing these stories come to life.”

It’s unclear how far along the conversations are, but if Carey did hop in the director’s chair, she’d follow fellow pop icon Madonna, who is readying her own biopic and will direct from a script by Diablo Cody for Universal. No matter what happens, expect Carey to be intimately involved in every aspect. The Queen of Christmas described herself as a “picky producer” on the Apple TV+ special. “I will say, ‘The Christmas balls have to be a bit more shiny.’ I’m really down to every detail. I really care about it all.”

As for the success of the memoir thus far, Carey called it a "huge thing" being rewarded with a slot on the best-seller list. "I've been wanting a forum to actually talk about a lot of these things, but really, you know, a 15-minute interview, we're not getting into the details from preschool when I was 4 years old. But I could do that in a book, and that is where it’s been rewarding."

A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.