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The Whirlwind Romance of Penelope Cruz and Lars Von Trier

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Some folks in Europe are reporting that Penelope Cruz is set to star in Lars Von Trier's next film. Here in the states, people are cautiously optimistic (?), while one anonymous person in cyberspace says Cruz has already backed out.

    Cruz has been cast star in "Melancholia" from director von Trier, about a planet on a collision course with Earth, according to The Playlist,citing sources from Europe.

    A call to Creative Artists Agency, which represents Cruz, wasn't terribly informative, but the folks at The Playlist are among the best at what they do and tend to be pretty scrupulous about their sourcing, so this shouldn't be taken lightly.

    But according to an unsourced post dated Feb. 8 on Pop Culture Wasteland, a scheduling conflict has forced Cruz to back out

    What is known is that "Melancholia" is “a mix of spectacular, cinematic imagery with Dogme-style handheld camerawork,” according to producer Peter Aalbaek Jensen. And "romantic, in a Lord Byron sort of way.”

    Shooting will take place next summer in Sweden and Germany, with a budget reported to be in the neighborhood of $5-8 million.

    "No more happy endings!" was all that von Trier had to say about the film last year.

    Von Trier has a history of going through leading ladies like, well, the misogynist he's typically accused of being. He first made a name for himself with "Breaking the Waves," in which he sent Emily Watson to hell and back.

    Then it was Bjork who swore off acting after her experience in "Dancer in the Dark," Nicole Kidman in "Dogville," followed by Bryce Dallas Howard in "Manderlay" and most recently Charlotte Gainsbourg in "Antichrist," including a scene where she mutilated her own genitals with a pair of rusty scissors.

    Any actress signing on with von Trier should know what she's up against. That said, all five of those films were in the running for the Palm d'Or at Cannes, Bjork and Gainsbourg both took home Best Actress from Cannes, and Watson earned an Oscar nomination. So maybe Cruz is willing to roll the dice for a statuette.