Ethan Hawke is getting back on the horse for a Western period piece.
After leading historical drama series “The Good Lord Bird,” Hawke is saddling up to play a cowboy once more, this time for Pedro Almodóvar’s “answer to ‘Brokeback Mountain,'” co-starring Pedro Pascal as Hawke’s love interest in “Strange Way of Life.”
Hawke shared a photo from pre-production atop a horse alongside director Almodóvar. “Giddy up,” Hawke captioned.
The 30-minute short movie starts filming in late August, taking place in Spain’s Almería desert region where Sergio Leone famously filmed Spaghetti Western “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.”
Hawke stars as Jake, a local sheriff who is tasked with capturing gunslinger Silva, played by Pascal. The duo haven’t seen each other in 25 years “so one of them travels through the desert to find the other,” Almodóvar exclusively told IndieWire’s Eric Kohn. “There will be a showdown between them, but really the story is very intimate.”
While Almodóvar stayed mum on the romantic nature of the period piece, the “Parallel Mothers” auteur teased that “masculinity is one of the subjects” challenged by the film. Almodóvar was originally in talks to helm 2004’s “Brokeback Mountain” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger; Ang Lee ultimately directed the Oscar winner.
“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 told IndieWire. “Nobody told me that — they said, ‘You can do whatever you want,’ but I knew that there was a limitation.”
Hawke and Pascal have held rehearsals over Zoom, which Almodóvar admitted was an “awful way” to work before being in-person. Now, at least Hawke has landed in Spain for horse training.
Hawke previously starred in Western-centric films “The Kid,” “The Magnificent Seven,” and “In the Valley of Violence.”
“The history of genre movies is such that there’s the Hollywood Western, and that’s one thing, but there’s also the low-budget Western,” Hawke explained to NYLON in 2016. “I said, ‘Let’s bring back the Spaghetti Western!’ For me, to get to be in a movie like ‘The Magnificent Seven’, a movie that plays in all the malls across America, where I get to be a dramatic actor, where I don’t have to wear a cape, I get to be a human being — that for me is very rewarding.”