“Brokeback Mountain” is set as a stage production.
Almost two decades since the acclaimed 2005 film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger debuted, “Brokeback Mountain” is confirmed as a West End play. Oscar-nominated star Lucas Hedges (“Manchester on the Sea”) will play the part of Ennis Del Mar, with BAFTA-nominated “West Side Story” breakout Mike Faist cast as Jack Twist.
“Brokeback Mountain” is based on the New Yorker short story by Annie Proulx. Producer Nica Burns stated that the play is inspired solely from the 1997 short story and not Ang Lee’s film, according to Deadline. Production will be a play with music and debut at the Sohoplace Theatre in the West End for a 12-week season starting May 10.
“Brokeback Mountain” centers on two cowboys who fall in love in Wyoming. Ashley Robinson adapted the script, with “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” director Jonathan Butterell helming the play with collaborator Dan Gillespie Sells writing some of the music. Singer-songwriter Eddi Reader will perform on stage with a country and Western band including a pedal steel guitarist.
Original film star Gyllenhaal previously reflected on the “stigma” surrounding the queer romance story at the time. He later shared that co-star Ledger shut down homophobic jokes at a screening of the film.
“Brokeback Mountain” play star Hedges is additionally set to appear in John Ridley’s “Shirley” biopic about Shirley Chisholm, the first Black congresswoman.
Meanwhile, Faist will lead Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming comedy “Challengers” alongside Zendaya and Josh O’Connor. The trio star in a tense “fizzy, sexy” love triangle involving “fucked up people” according to Guadagnino.
The love-love dramedy stars Zendaya as a tennis player-turned-coach Tashi who oversees her husband Art’s (Faist) career. But when Art winds up on a losing streak, he is forced to play against his childhood best friend and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend, Patrick (O’Connor), igniting a tense love triangle with queer undertones.
The actors trained for three months for the Boston-based film.
“I think those three characters in that movie are beautifully complex and really fucked-up people that I love very much. And a sports film, why not?” Guadagnino exclusively told IndieWire. “It’s hyperkinetic, and I do films, so it’s great.”
According to Guadagnino, “Challengers” is his “first comedy,” with production set in Boston. The “a fairly fizzy, sexy” movie is set for an August 11, 2023 release date with United Artists distributing.