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Pedro Pascal and Manu Rios’ gay western to premiere at Cannes

Pedro Almodóvar revealed the intimate film is about masculinity "in a deep sense".

By Emily Maskell

Pedro Pascal and Manu Rios
Pedro Pascal and Manu Rios are set to appear in Strange Way of Life (Image: Wiki Commons and Instagram/@manurios)

Strange Way of Life, Pedro Almodóvar’s upcoming gay western romance starring Ethan Hawke, Pedro Pascal, and Manu Rios, will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

The Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker made the announcement while appearing on Dua Lipa’s podcast At Your Service.

Élite heartthrob Manu Ríos will join Moon Knight’s Hawke and The Mandalorian’s Pascal in a currently undisclosed role.

Almodóvar, 73, added that the thirty-minute film is a “queer Western, in the sense that there are two men and they love each other.”

He also noted that Pascal and Hawke’s characters “behave in that situation in an opposite way.”

“It’s about masculinity in a deep sense because the Western is a male genre,” Almodóvar said. “What I can tell you about the film is that it has a lot of the elements of the Western: it has the gunslinger, it has the ranch, it has the sheriff.”

“But what it has that most Westerns don’t have is the kind of dialogue that I don’t think a Western film has ever captured between two men,” he continued. “And now I think I’m telling you a little bit too much.”

Strange Way of Life will follow Silva (Pascal) riding on a horse across a desert to reunite with Sheriff Jake (Hawke) after 25 years.

“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.”

The intention of his visit, however, isn’t just to reminisce on memories of their past… angsty gay cowboys incoming.

Almodóvar 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.

The director shared that the desire to make his own gay western originated from the restrictions that hampered what his version of Brokeback Mountain would have been.

With a penchant for visually stunning and narratively emotional films, Almodóvar remains one of the finest filmmakers working today. 

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