Cannes: Penelope Cruz to Star in Drama 'Layover'

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Cruz

Toni Kalem will direct the film, which Fortitude International will introduce in Cannes.

Penelope Cruz will star in drama Layover, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Lisa Zeidner.

Toni Kalem adapted the book and will direct the film. Zeidner's book, which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, centers on traveling saleswoman Claire Newbold, who decides to go on the lam from her life. She develops elaborate scams for sneaking into hotel rooms, alone or with a guest, and a passion for swimming in their pools.

The pic, centered on the inventive and atypical heroine, will be produced by Cruz along with Animus Films’ Jim Young and Serena Films’ Tatiana Kelly. Fortitude International’s Nadine de Barros and Robert Barnum will executive produce.

Fortitude International is financing the project, currently in preproduction, and will introduce it to foreign buyers next month in Cannes.

"Toni Kalem’s beautifully layered adaptation of Lisa Zeidner’s acclaimed book is a provocative blend of humor and heartbreak," Kelly said in a statement. "With the addition of the incomparable Penelope Cruz to our team, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase such strong female talent both in front of and behind the camera."

Kalem is an actress as well, having starred in HBO series The Sopranos and Philip Kaufman’s cult classic The Wanderers. She also adapted Anne Tyler’s novel A Slipping-Down Life and directed the film, which starred Guy Pearce, Lili Taylor and John Hawkes. She is repped by WME and Surpin & Mayersohn.

Cruz most recently was seen in Zoolander 2 and The Brothers Grimsby, and will next be seen in the Spanish drama Ma Ma. Her other upcoming projects include The Queen of Spain. She is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.

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