Gird your loins, friends: Pedro Pascal is starring in a gay western. The LGBTQ+ ally and the Internet’s hot dad of the moment is saddled up to play a cowboy in Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar’s upcoming Strange Way of Life.
The short film, co-starring Ethan Hawke, has reportedly wrapped shooting and is rumored to be premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Here’s the description of the 30-minute flick from IMDB: “After twenty-five years Silva rides a horse across the desert to visit his friend Sheriff Jake. They celebrate the meeting, but the next morning Jake tells him that the reason for his trip is not to go down the memory lane of their friendship.”
“There will be a showdown between them, but really the story is very intimate,” Almodóvar told IndieWire last June. “Masculinity is one of the subjects of the movie.”
Pascal will play Silva while Hawke takes on the role of Jake. Spanish actors Manu Ríos (of Netflix’s high school drama Elite) and Jason Fernández also star in unspecified roles, leading i-D to speculate that the two younger actors may be appearing in the film as younger versions of Pascal and Hawke’s characters.
Almodóvar’s brother, producer Agustín Almodóvar, shared photos from the film’s set this summer via Twitter, showing Hawke and Pascal with the director as well as Pascal on a horse.
The film’s title the director said, comes from a Portuguese fado which will open the movie. “Those songs are all very sad,” Almodóvar said. “And that is how these two main characters live.”
He described Strange Way of Life as “like my answer to Brokeback Mountain.” Almodóvar was approached to direct the 2005 film adaptation of Annie Proulx’s short story, but ultimately opted out fearing that he wouldn’t be able to make the film as sexually explicit as he would have liked. “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,” he said. “Nobody told me that — they said, ‘You can do whatever you want,’ but I knew that there was a limitation.”
“The relation between these two guys is animalistic,” Almodóvar said of Brokeback’s Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal). “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–king all the time.”
Yves Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello served as both an associate producer on Strange Way of Life and designed its costumes. And speaking of costumes, if Hawke’s attire in the set photos is any indication, Strange Way of Life looks like it will be a period piece, possibly set sometime in the 1800s.
Film journalists Roger Friedman and Christine Masser have both reported that the film, Almodóvar’s second English-language short, will open Cannes—though i-D notes that it’s rare for a short to open the festival.