Back in 2005, the gay Spanish director was approached to direct the Oscar-winning drama before Ang Lee was involved. But he turned down the project as he felt it was "too Hollywood."
"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," Almodovar told IndieWire. "Nobody told me that -- they said, 'You can do whatever you want,' but I knew that there was a limitation."
"The relation between these two guys is animalistic," Almodovar continued. "It was a physical relationship. The punch of the movie comes when they have to separate, and Heath Ledger discovers that he can't think about leaving. That's a strong discovery. But until that moment, it is animalistic, and 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*cking all the time."
Now, he says Strange Way of Life "could be like my answer to Brokeback Mountain." The film centers around a sheriff named Jake (Hawke) and gunslinger Silva (Pascal), two characters who live on opposing sides of the desert and haven't seen each other in 25 years. "So one of them travels through the desert to find the other," Almodovar said. "There will be a showdown between them, but really the story is very intimate."
When IndieWire asked if that meant it would also be romantic, Almodovar laughed and said, "You can guess, I mean, masculinity is one of the subjects of the movie."
Strange Way of Life will begin production in late August and will film in the deserts of Spain's Almeria region, where Sergio Leone famously shot films like The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Additionally, Saint Laurent's head designer Anthony Vaccarello will serve as an associate producer and costume designer for the film.