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Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke to star in Pedro Almodóvar’s ‘answer’ to gay drama Brokeback Mountain

"There will be a showdown between them, but really the story is very intimate," says Almodóvar

By Emily Maskell


Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Wiki Commons

Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke are set to lead director Pedro Almodóvar’s “answer” to Brokeback Mountain.

The Spanish filmmaker revealed details of the project, a Western short film titled Strange Way of Life, in a recent interview with IndieWire.

Pascal confirmed his involvement on Instagram last April when he shared a video of Almodóvar talking about the film.

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A post shared by Pedro Pascal he/him (@pascalispunk)

Almodóvar, 72, was previously in line to direct the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain – the heartbreaking tale of two shepherds (famously played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal) – but he ended up passing the film’s reins to Ang Lee.

“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 now reminisces.

“Nobody told me that — they said, ‘You can do whatever you want,’ but I knew that there was a limitation.”

Almodóvar previously said that his version of Brokeback Mountain would have included a lot more lust and sex.

Speaking about Lee’s film Almodóvar said: “The relation between these two guys is animalistic” and “for me, it was impossible to have that in the movie because it was a Hollywood movie. You could not have these two guys fucking all the time.”

Although he’s gone on the record to say that he sees Strange Way Of Life as his “answer to Brokeback Mountain,” now the opportunity for a Western film is back in Almodóvar’s lap, he’s keeping his cards close to his chest about the nature of the upcoming movie.

What we do know, is that Moon Knight’s Hawke will play a sheriff named Jake, while The Mandalorian’s Pascal will be the gunslinger Silva who lives on the opposite side of the desert.

The film will see the pair reunite after 25 years – angsty gay cowboys incoming? 

“One of them travels through the desert to find the other,” Almodóvar revealed. “There will be a showdown between them, but really the story is very intimate.”

When asked if the aforementioned showdown may be homoerotic, that perhaps the film could be a gay romance, Almodóvar responded, “you can guess… I mean, masculinity is one of the subjects of the movie.”

The director’s stunningly vibrant recent short, The Human Voice starring Tilda Swinton, showed that Almodóvar remains one of the greatest. 

Strange Way Of Life is being co-produced by Saint Laurent, whose head designer Anthony Vaccarello will also work as a costume designer.

It is set to begin production in August. 

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.