EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar will not be making his first English-language feature directorial debut with A Manual for Cleaning Women, which has Cate Blanchett set to star and produce under her Dirty Films, Deadline has learned.
The filmmaker finally had all the elements to realize the magnitude of this future production. However, he came to the decision that he’s not ready to tackle such a monumental project in English. A search for another director is underway.
The feature project was first announced back in January based on Lucia Berlin’s 43-part collection of short stories, examining the lives of women working a wide variety of demanding jobs.
“It has been a very painful decision for me,” Almodóvar tells Deadline. “I have dreamt of working with Cate for such a long time. Dirty Films has been so generous with me this whole time and I was blinded by excitement, but unfortunately, I no longer feel able to fully realize this film.”
Dirty Films producers Blanchett, Andrew Upton, and Coco Francini tell us, “We have the utmost respect for Pedro and his extraordinary body of work, and while the stars may not have aligned this time, we hope to collaborate with Pedro and El Deseo on another project in the future. Dirty Films’ passion for A Manual for Cleaning Women and Lucia Berlin’s unique and searing voice – full of danger, joyousness and loss – has not dimmed, and we are excited to continue this project with our partners at New Republic.”
Brian Oliver and Bradley Fischer of New Republic Pictures are also producers on A Manual for Cleaning Woman. Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers saw two Oscar noms this year for Penelope Cruz in Best Actress and Alberto Iglesias’ Original Score. Almodóvar won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for 2002’s Habla Con Ella.