Spanish actor Manu Ríos of Elité fame is set to star in out director Pedro Almodovar’s upcoming Western.
Ríos will join actors Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal for the film. Hawke and Pascal will play the cowboys at the heart of the half-hour short, which is currently titled Strange Way of Life, according to Variety.
Almodovar told IndieWire, “It could be like my answer to Brokeback Mountain.”
The director had the chance to direct the iconic queer film but passed on it.
“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 explained to IndieWire. “Nobody told me that — they said, ‘You can do whatever you want,’ but I knew that there was a limitation.”
He added, “The relation between these two guys is animalistic.”
“It was a physical relationship. The punch of the movie comes when they have to separate, and Heath Ledger discovers that he can’t think about leaving. That’s a strong discovery. But until that moment, it 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 f***ing all the time,” Almodóvar said.
While it’s unclear what type of character Ríos will play, Hawke and Pascal will play a sheriff and an outlaw who haven’t seen each other for 25 years.
“So one of them travels through the desert to find the other,” the director said. “There will be a showdown between them, but really the story is very intimate.”
Production for the film will begin in August in the Almería region of Spain, and no release date has been set. IndieWire notes that’s the location where Sergio Leon’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was shot.
Strange Way of Life will also star Jason Fernández, José Condessa, George Steane, Pedro Casablanc, and Sara Salámo.