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Lars Von Trier's newest leading lady is Kirsten Dunst. Congratulations and sorry, Kirsten Dunst

Now that she’s been loosed from the Spider-Man franchise, Kirsten Dunst seems intent on reshaping her career into something way more artsy, way less fartsy. To wit: Dunst is currently working on Upside Down, a sci-fi romance about lovers divided by alternate universes, with Argentinean director Juan Diego Solanas; she recently completed a starring role in the Kristen Wiig-tries-a-dramatic-role murder-mystery All Good Things; and she’s even prepping her directorial and screenwriting debut short, Bastard, for the Tribeca Film Fest. Today comes word that Lars Von Trier has picked Dunst to replace Penelope Cruz (who backed out to do the next Pirates Of The Caribbean) in his newest project, Melancholia, which is definitely not a sentence we expected to be typing today. Dunst will play the lead in Von Trier’s self-described “psychological disaster movie” alongside already-confirmed cast members Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander and Stellan Skarsgaard, Charlotte Rampling, Udo Kier, and Von Trier’s Antichrist muse, Charlotte Gainsbourg. Given the way things typically go for Von Trier’s female protagonists, we do not expect things to end well for Dunst—on screen, at least.  

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