Pedro Almodóvar explains why he turned down director role on Brokeback Mountain

Hit film starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal was directed by Ang Lee

Brokeback mountain trailer

Director Pedro Almodovar has spoken out on why he declined the opportunity to direct the Oscar-winning drama Brokeback Mountain.

Adapted from Annie Proulx’s short story, the hit motion picture centred on cowboys Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) as they fall in love in the rural West.

The film won Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Original Score at the 78th Academy Awards.

It was also nominated for the categories of Best Actor (Ledger), Best Supporting Actor (Gyllenhaal)and Best Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams).

Though Almodóvar was approached to direct the film ahead of Lee, he turned the job down as he was doubtful he’d have the freedom to make the decisions he wanted.

“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 said in an interview with IndieWire.

Although he clarified that no-one had told him that he’d have creative limitations with the project, the Parallel Mothers director presumed that a mainstream film wouldn’t allow him to explore the more “animalistic” sexual aspects of the story.

Heath Ledger and Gyllenhaal as two cowboys who fall in love in 2005's 'Brokeback Mountain'

“The relation between these two guys is animalistic,” Almodóvar said. “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.”

He continued: “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***ing all the time.”

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In a previous interview with the outlet, the director said that his take on the material would be: “More sex, more sex.”

Almodóvar is set to start production on a new Western film, Strange Way of Life, in August. Starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, the movie’s plotline is not yet known – though the filmmaker teased: “It could be like my answer to Brokeback Mountain.”

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