Before filming The Human Voice, his medium-length film starring Tilda Swinton, Pedro Almodóvar had wanted to adapt A Manual for Cleaning Women. The 43-story compilation by Lucia Berlin (focused on the suffering of various women across the world) was quickly offered as an opportunity for the Spanish director to shoot his first English-language film, after having also tried with Julieta … but there were several mishaps along the way. In fact, the last thing we knew was that the adaptation rights had expired, complicating the making of the film.
Once his company El Deseo couldn’t take over the film, it was possible that Cate Blanchett (an actress rumored to star in it right from the start) would save the day by resorting to her own production company, and according to Variety that is exactly what happened. Dirty Films, Blanchett’s company, has obtained the rights to A Manual for Cleaning Women, so she has contacted Almodóvar and his producer Agustín Almodóvar to finally develop the film. Thus, A Manual for Cleaning Women will be produced by Dirty Films together with New Republic Pictures and El Deseo, and Almodóvar will be able to direct it freely.
The script has already been written, and once Parallel Mothers finishes its promotional journey with great praise from critics, Almodóvar can start working on his first English-language film as soon as possible. The plot of A Manual for Cleaning Women will try to combine the stories from the book into a single narrative set in the US and Spain. Blanchett’s most recent roles were in Don’t Look Up and Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.
No further details about the movie have been given, but it’s expected that Almodóvar will start looking for new performers to star alongside Blanchett.