Fresh off the heels of completing his run as Joel in HBO and HBOMax’s The Last of Us, and wrapping The Mandalorian Season 3, actor and the internet’s “dad”, Pedro Pascal, has been cast as a middle-aged gunslinger in a project deemed to be an “answer to Brokeback Mountain“.
Pedro Pascal has stirred up quite the following ever since HBO’s Game of Thrones catapulted him to international stardom. Pascal starred as Oberyn Martell in the critically-acclaimed fantasy-drama series, as well as Javier Peña in Netflix’s Narcos, and Maxwell Lord in Wonder Woman 1984 (2021). The Chilean-American actor would become even more widely known after commanding the Star Wars fandom into a new era of galactic storytelling when he was cast as the Mandalorian bounty hunter, Din Djarin.
From showrunner Jon Favreau, under creative leadership from Lucasfilm’s Dave Filoni, The Mandalorian‘s debut on the Disney streaming service, Disney+, provided a small buffer against the backlash the Star Wars studio received during the run of the polarizing sequel trilogy.
With two seasons under its belt, and another on the way, the flagship Star Wars television show has spawned the spinoffs, The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka — both of which take place circa five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983), and continue to expand the galaxy far, far away in previously unseen territory.
And while fans of Pascal — of which he has many — are looking forward to his take on the popular video game character, Joel, from Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment’s “The Last of Us” (2013) in the HBO series of the same name, the Mandalorian headliner has surprised his legions of followers after being cast in Pedro Almodóvar’s new Western movie, Strange Way of Life (TBA), produced by Saint Laurent.
In an exclusive with IndieWire, the Spanish director, who also has another project brewing with Cate Blanchett, revealed the concept and cast of his new 30-minute Western, which he coins his “answer to Brokeback Mountain‘. IndieWire reported:
“Strange Way of Life,” which begins production in late August, will star Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal as a pair of middle-aged gunslingers at the center of a 30-minute Western. Much of the action will take place in the desert region of Spain’s Almería region, where Sergio Leone famously shot “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” though Almodóvar was not thinking of the story as a throwback to Spaghetti Westerns. “I’m not consciously referencing those movies,” he said. “I don’t know what it will be like, except that it will be mine.”
Almodóvar’s short film underwent rocky Zoom rehearsals while Pascal and Ethan Hawke finished The Last of Us and The Black Phone (2022), respectively, and will hopefully convene in Spain next month for the project.
As the interview notes, it won’t be the Spanish auteur’s first dip into the Western genre. The director was attached to Brokeback Mountain (2005) before Ang Lee eventually helmed the project; Almódovar backed out when he realized he could not capture the “animalistic” nature of the two lead characters, who were played by Jake Gyllenhaal (Jack Twist) and the late Heath Ledger (Ennis Del Mar) in the movie, due to it being, inherently, a Hollywood movie.
Now, he says that Strange Way of Life will be his “answer” to the cowboy drama. Almodóvar is coy on the details but says, “There will be a showdown between them, but really the story is very intimate […] I mean, masculinity is one of the subjects of the movie.”
Naturally, Pascal’s involvement in the project broke the internet, with thousands of fans weighing in on his new role.
As for the future of The Mandalorian, the third season has wrapped and will see the return of Din Djarin, Grogu (The Child, “Baby Yoda”), Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), and Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). This third outing looks set to deal with the events of The Book of Boba Fett when Din Djarin and Grogu were reunited following his brief training with Ahsoka (Rosario Dawson) and Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
Katee Sackhoff will also return as Bo-Katan Kryze, with the series likely to explore the origins and ownership of the Darksaber as well as confront just who the rightful ruler of Mandalore is.
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