Ethan Hawke has signed on to star in Pedro Almodóvar’s next film, “Strange Way of Life,” (“Extraña forma de vida”), a half-hour Western.
The Spanish director will shoot the short before making his English-language feature debut, “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” with Cate Blanchett.
Hawke stars opposite Chile’s Pedro Pascal, who portrayed Oberyn Martell in “Game of Thrones,” in a film which will be “another exercise of freedom in the line of ‘The Human Voice,’” said producer Agustín Almodóvar.
The short will be shot in English. Set up at El Deseo, the Almodóvar brothers’ Madrid-based production company, “Strange Way of Life” begins with a man, Silva, riding on a horse across a desert to Bitter Creek. He has come to visit Sheriff Jake. 25 years earlier, the two men worked together as hired gunmen.
Silva comes with the pretext of re-encountering his friend from youth. They celebrate their re-encounter. But the following morning Sheriff Jake tells him that the real reason for his visit isn’t memories of their old friendship….
“I won’t say any more because I don’t want to reveal all the script’s surprises,” Pedro Almodóvar wrote in a statement issued by El Deseo on Tuesday.
The film’s title, he explained, echoes the title of a famous fado written and sung by Amalia Rodrigues. Its lyrics claim that there’s no stranger existence than one that ignores one’s own desires – which raises the question as to how much the film could turn on desire, rather than the normal motifs of a Western.
“In all his cinema, Pedro reinterprets genres, questioning their codes,” said Agustín Almodóvar.
“Strange Way of Life” also stars young promises Jason Fernández, José Condessa, George Steane and Manu Ríos, as well as Pedro Casablanc and Sara Salámo.
It will shoot in the desert of Tabernas in Almería, southern Spain, and also in the settlement which Sergio Leone built 50 years ago to shoot his spaghetti Western “Dollars” trilogy with Clint Eastwood. El Deseo is also building a ranch near Madrid to film further scenes in the film.
Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello will oversee costume design and take an associate producer credit.
“We’ll look to self-finance and recuperate later. This is shot with the freedom we had when we made Super 8 movies in the ‘70s, but with 40 years experience in the sector,” said Agustín Almodóvar.