New Western starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke could be Pedro Almodóvars “answer to Brokeback Mountain”

Pedro Almodóvar’s next project is a Western starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke, and the Spanish director told IndieWire (opens in new tab) that “it could be like my answer to Brokeback Mountain.” Hawke will play a sheriff named Jake while Pascal is a gunslinger called Silva. The pair live on opposite sides of the desert and haven’t seen each other for 25 years. 

“One of them travels through the desert to find the other,” Almodóvar explained. “There will be a showdown between them, but really the story is very intimate.” When asked if romance could be on the cards, he said: “You can guess,” he said. “I mean, masculinity is one of the subjects of the movie.”

Production on the 30-minute film, titled Strange Way of Life, is due to start this August in the Almería region of Spain, where The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was filmed. This is Almodóvar’s second English-language project after 2020’s The Human Voice, a short film starring Tilda Swinton and based on the play of the same name by Jean Cocteau. He’s set to make his English-language feature debut with A Manual for Cleaning Women, with Cate Blanchett in the leading role, but is best known for his Spanish movies including Volver, All About My Mother, and Pain and Glory. 

Almodóvar was offered the chance to direct Brokeback Mountain before Ang Lee came on board to helm the Oscar-winning movie. Released in 2005, it starred Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as two cowboys with a complex romantic relationship, but Almodóvar turned down the project. 

“I think Ang Lee made a wonderful movie, but I never believed that they would give me complete freedom and independence to make what I wanted,” Almodóvar said. “Nobody told me that – they said, ‘You can do whatever you want,’ but I knew that there was a limitation.”

While we wait for Strange Way of Life to arrive on our screens, check out our guide to all this year’s most exciting movie release dates.

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