Penelope Cruz has been set to star in Layover, an adaptation of Lisa Zeidner’s 1999 novel that will be written and directed by Toni Kalem. Cruz, Animus Films’ Jim Young and Serena Films’ Tatiana Kelly will produce the drama, which Fortitude International will finance and sell international rights to beginning next month in Cannes. CAA has domestic rights.
Fortitude International’s Nadine de Barros and Robert Barnum are executive producers on the project, now in pre-production.
The book centers on Claire Newbold, a successful traveling saleswoman 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. A master of reinvention, she is fierce, funny and falling apart, and the story follows the atypical heroine as she goes off the deep end, and has to find her way back to shore.
“Toni Kalem’s beautifully layered adaptation of Lisa Zeidner’s acclaimed book is a provocative blend of humor and heartbreak,” Kelly said. “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, who played Angie Bonpensiero on HBO’s The Sopranos, previously adapted Anne Tyler’s novel A Slipping-Down Life as her first screenplay. The 1999 movie starred Guy Pearce, Lili Taylor and John Hawkes and played Sundance. She also wrote for Sopranos and Showtime’s The Big C. She is repped by WME and Surpin & Mayersohn.
Cruz is repped by CAA.