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Cate Blanchett, Pedro Almodóvar
Photo Harald Krichel, via Wikimedia Commons / Instagram

Pedro Almodóvar casts Cate Blanchett in his first English-language feature

A Manual for Cleaning Women is based on Lucia Berlin’s short story collection of the same name

Pedro Almodóvar’s debut English-language feature film is on the way, and Cate Blanchett has officially signed on to play the lead. 

Titled A Manual for Cleaning Women, the film is an adaptation of the eponymous short story collection by Lucia Berlin, which was credited with bringing a new audience to the American writer’s work when it was published posthumously in 2015. The book features 43 stories that navigate the lives of several women who work in low-paid, demanding jobs.

According to Variety, the film is still in the early stages of development, with Blanchett’s production company Dirty Films producing the feature for New Republic Pictures, in collaboration with the Almodóvar brothers’ production company, El Deseo.

Speaking about the project as part of Variety’s “Up Next” series back in December, Almodóvar said that he was writing the script in Spanish before translating it into English.

In 2020, the director also shared his first short film in the English language, titled The Human Voice and starring Tilda Swinton. This was followed in 2021 by his latest film, Parallel Mothers (along with its controversial promotional artwork).

Cate Blanchett, meanwhile, has recently acted alongside the likes of Bradley Cooper, Willem Dafoe, and Rooney Mara in the upcoming Guillermo del Toro thriller Nightmare Alley (jokingly dubbed Carol 2 by fans eager to see a reprise of the lesbian longing between Blanchett and Mara). 

Elsewhere, she’s appeared amid the all-star cast of Don’t Look Up, and will star in another Guillermo del Toro film, Pinocchio, slated for release toward the tail end of this year.