Spanish director Pedro Almodovar is going to wait a while longer before tackling a feature film in English.

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Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar says he is withdrawing from his first English-language feature, “A Manual for Cleaning Women” produced by and starring Cate Blanchett. Manu Fernandez/Associated Press, file

The Oscar winner for original screenplay for 2002’s “Talk to Her” (“Hable con ella”) told Deadline on Monday that it was a “painful decision” to leave the helm of “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” starring Cate Blanchett. Blanchett’s company, Dirty Films, is producing the movie.

“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,” Almodovar told the trade outlet.

The film is in preproduction with a plan for a 2023 release, according to The “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” director was also credited by IMDb as a writer and producer on “A Manual for Cleaning Women.”

Almodovar previously wrote and directed the 30-minute English-language short “The Human Voice,” which was released in 2020 and starred Tilda Swinton.

“Parallel Mothers,” the most recent directorial effort from the “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” mastermind, earned 2022 Oscar nominations for its star, Penelope Cruz, and for Alberto Iglesias, who wrote the original score. Cruz and Almodovar have collaborated on seven projects.

Dirty Films producers Blanchett, Andrew Upton and Coco Francini told Deadline, “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 … on another project in the future.” They said work on “A Manual” would continue with New Republic Pictures, which was already affiliated with the movie.


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