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Gracefully leaping from the big budget Hollywood spectacle Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides to Woody Allen's Italy-set ensemble comedy To Rome With Love to Sergio Castellitto's Italian drama Venuto al mondo, Penelope Cruz defines the phrase international star. So, it's little surprise that one Cruz casting story not only leads to another but also bounds across borders and genres.
In April word emerged that Cruz could be replacing Angelina Jolie in Ridley Scott's upcoming thriller The Counselor. Now Deadline is confirming her casting in the Cormac McCarthy-penned picture, while revealing she's also set to star in Pedro Almodovàr's Los Amantes Pasajeros.
In The Counselor, Cruz will appear opposite Michael Fassbender, playing the love interest to his character, a lawyer living on the Mexican border whose dabbling in drug dealing spins him into a world of danger. Cameron Diaz was once rumored for this very role when it seemed Cruz was wavering, but curiously Deadline's report still has her included in the cast. While Diaz's part is now a mystery, we do know Brad Pitt will play a shady character, and Cruz's husband and frequent co-star Javier Bardem will portray a wealthy business associate of the film's criminal/attorney.
As for Los Amantes Pasajeros—or Standby Lovers as it will be known in the U.S.—Cruz will join a "choral" cast that includes frequent Almodovàr performers Lola Duenas, Javier Camara and Cecilia Roth, as well as Last Circus stars Carlos Areces and Raúl Arévalo. The comedy centers on a love affair aboard an airplane, and marks her fifth film effort with the heralded director.
The Counselor is expected to go into production this month; Los Amantes Pasajeros will shoot this summer in Madrid.