Announced last year, the court jester of controversy Lars Von Trier would follow up his dark, disturbing Antichrist with a psychological disaster movie with sci-fi overtones; the name of the film is Melancholia.

Never one to flog dead horses you can bet that this film, concerning itself with the effects of a large planet veering dangerously close to Earth, won’t be a Dogme 95 reworking of Armageddon and after the gruelling mental erosion of Antichrist suffered by Von Trier’s on-screen couple of Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg anyone stepping into the ring with Von Trier should be well prepared.

The Playlist has done the hard work and scrutinised several European press cuttings, all of which appear to suggest that the woman in question is Penelope Cruz, an actress whose star has never been higher or brighter, and whose career has flipped back and forth between her love affair with Pedro Almodovar and roles such as her oscar winning turn in Woody Allen’s Vicky Christina Barcelona.

She is a formidable screen presence and while she can dress up (or down) in something like Rob Marshall’s recent Nine, she has a depth and charm which, if the casting rumours are true, make Von Trier’s next all the most interesting.