Pedro Pascal’s gay Western with Ethan Hawke is about to rival Brokeback Mountain

Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke on set filming ‘Strange Way of Life’.

Fresh from the The Last of Us finale, Pedro Pascal is ready to ride into his next role – as the gunslinging Silva in “queer” new Western romance Strange Way of Life.

The 30-minute short film, which is reportedly set to open the 76th Cannes Film Festival in May, stars Pascal alongside Dead Poet Society actor Ethan Hawke, who will play a sheriff named Jake.

Manu Ríos, star of Netflix’s queer teen drama Elite, is also on the cast list, in an as-yet untitled role, while Pedro Almodóvar will be behind the camera in the director’s chair.

Considering the internet’s seemingly undying fascination with Pedro Pascal, Strange Way of Life will almost certainly end up on must-watch lists once Cannes is over. As such, here’s everything we know about the film so far.

Everything we know about Strange Way of Life

Openly gay director Pedro Almodóvar has let little slip about the premise of Strange Way of Life. What we do know though, according to IMDb, is that Silva (Pascal) will ride a horse across the desert in an attempt to find his friend Jake (Hawke), after 25 long years apart.

In an interview with IndieWire, Almodóvar suggested some sort of “showdown” between the two, implying that the pair are, or were, very much more than just “friends”.

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“The story is very intimate,” he said. When asked if there was a “romantic” element to the plot, he responded: “You can guess… I mean, masculinity is one of the subjects of the movie.”

Almodóvar also described the film as “his answer to Brokeback Mountain“, the infamously queer Western about cowboys Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal).

Interestingly, Almodóvar was asked to direct Brokeback Mountain but he passed on the offer as he didn’t think he’d be able to make their relationship “animalistic” enough. The job was eventually given to Sense and Sensibility director Ang Lee.

Pedro Pascal ‘s new queer Western Strange Way of Life will premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival (Leon Bennett/FilmMagic)

“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.

“The relation between these two guys is animalistic … It was a physical relationship,” he added.

“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*****g all the time.”

So, does that mean we could be about to see Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke going at it for half an hour? Possibly.

“This is a queer Western in the sense that there are two men, and they love each other, and they behave in that situation in an opposite way,” Almodóvar shared with Dua Lipa on her podcast, Dua Lipa: At Your Service. “It’s about masculinity in that deep sense,” he added.

He also expressed that Strange Way of Life has “dialogue that I don’t think a Western film has ever captured between two men,” implying that perhaps it could be even queerer than Brokeback Mountain

When will Strange Way of Life debut?

While it’s confirmed that Strange Way of Life will receive its big screen debut at the Cannes Film Festival, as of yet there is no exact date for its premiere, nor do we know when the wider public will get a chance to see it.

However, it’s alleged that the film will debut on the opening night of Cannes, which takes place on Tuesday 16 May.