LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - MADRID - Pedro Almodovar is on the lookout for a new female star for his next film.

4 Jan 2015 - 7:00 AM  UPDATED 5 Jan 2015 - 10:32 AM

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - MADRID - Pedro Almodovar has set his next film: the Spanish-language "Silencio," Variety has confirmed.

Almodovar described the project to the Financial Times as a "hard-hitting drama which excites me," reprising "the cinema of women, of great female protagonists."

"Silencio" is set up at Madrid's El Deseo, the Spanish production label founded by Pedro and brother Agustin Almodovar. It will be produced by Agustin Almodovar.

"'Silencio' is still in the early stages of definition, in the early stages of casting, with pre-locations, defining the scale of production," Agustin Almodovar told Variety on Saturday.

Returning to a femme drama, a film mode that has given Almodovar some of his greatest successes, from 1995's "The Flower of My Secret" through 1999's "All About My Mother," a Foreign Language Academy Award winner, to 2006's "Volver," with Penelope Cruz, reckoned one of the best films Almodovar has ever directed, "Silencio" also looks set to open up the chance of a lifetime for an Spanish-speaking actress: Pedro Almodovar admitted to the Financial Times that casting, which is currently taking place, will be "complicated because what I've written doesn't quite work with my 'actores amigos.'"

Very little is known about "Silencio's" storyline. The new movie's title does refer, however, to "the principal element that drives the worst things that happen to the main female protagonist," Almodovar hinted to the Financial Times.

In London for the new stage musical of "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," Pedro Almodovar added that the new film's screenplay is complete.

"Silencio" will go into production in April. As with some of his other great femme dramas, where Almodovar has used different locations of Spain for their psychological and emotional impact on his often troubled or challenged women protagonists, "Silencio" will shoot in Madrid and other parts of Spain, Almodovar already announced at last October's Lumiere Festival in France's Lyon where, following in the footsteps of Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino, he received its prestigious Lumiere Prize for career achievement.

(Emiliano de Pablos contributed to this report.)