EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar will not make his first English-language directorial debut with Manual for Cleaning Women, Deadline has learned that Cate Blanchett will star and produce as part of her Dirty Films.
The filmmaker finally had all the evidence to realize the magnitude of this future production. However, he came to the decision that he is not ready to tackle such a monumental task in English. The search for another director is underway.
The feature project was first announced in January based on Lucia Berlin’s 43-part short story collection, which examines the lives of women working in a wide variety of demanding jobs.
“It was a very painful decision for me,” Almodóvar tells Deadline. “I’ve dreamed of working with Kate for so long. Dirty Films has been so generous with me all this time and I’ve been blindsided by excitement, but unfortunately, I no longer feel I can fully realize this film.”
Dirty Films producers Blanchett, Andrew Upton and Coco Francini tell us, “We have the utmost respect for Pedro and his excellent work, and while the stars may not have aligned this time, we hope to work with Pedro and El Deseo in another project in the future. Dirty Films’ passion for Handbook for cleaning women and Lucia Berlin’s unique and searing voice – full of danger, joy and loss – has not diminished, and we’re excited to continue this work with our partners at New Republic.”
Brian Oliver and Bradley Fischer of New Republic Pictures are also producing Handbook of feminine hygiene. by Almodóvar Parallel Mothers saw two Oscar nominations this year for Penelope Cruz for Best Actress and Alberto Iglesias’ Original Score. Almodovar won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay Habla Con Ella.
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