Firstly, I am a huge fan of director David Michôd. The Australian crime film Animal Kingdom completely blew me away when I first watched it at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. It was Michôd’s feature film debut and it showed a lot of promise from the up-and-coming director. Michôd’s follow-up film is a post-apocalyptic science fiction thriller that features Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, and Scoot McNairy, and it’s called The Rover.
Film distributors A24 have released The Rover‘s first teaser trailer and it looks fantastic. While the trailer is short on story, it is full of sharp imagery and a brutal tone. The distributors also released a brief synopsis of the film, which is just as minimal as the trailer. The Rover takes place 10 years after the fall of society, in a post-apocalyptic Australian Outback.
Guy Pearce plays Eric, a man who is attacked by a roaming gang of dangerous criminals, and who “go to any lengths to take back the one thing that still matters to him.” Robert Pattinson plays Rey,” the naïve and injured member of the gang, who was left behind.” The pair goes on a journey for revenge. Joel Edgerton has a story credit for The Rover, but he didn’t write the screenplay. That honor goes to David Michôd as well.
While comparisons to George Miller’s Mad Max are inevitable, I automatically thought of the films The Proposition, the Australian Western from director John Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave, and the 1971 exploitation film Wake in Fright, from director Ted Kotcheff. Michôd told Entertainment Weekly, “You put cars in the desert in Australia and people are going to think of Mad Max, And with all due respect to that film — and I stress that — I think The Rover is going to be way more chillingly authentic and menacing.”
Although Robert Pattinson is mostly associated with playing the vampire Edward from the Twilight films, the 27-year-old British actor is trying to get away from his teeny-bopper image. In 2012, Pattinson starred in David Cronenberg’s film adaptation of author Don DeLillo’s novel Cosmopolis. That movie is completely different from anything in the Twilight Saga, and Robert Pattinson was actually pretty good in it. Now that he’s taken another role in a considerably more artistic film than Twilight, it’s clear that he wants to put that role in the past.
The film distributors also released a very minimal teaser poster for The Rover below. It’s completely black and features only the title of the movie and its stars.
A24 has yet to announce an official release date for The Rover, but they are aiming for summer 2014. If you haven’t seen Animal Kingdom, I highly recommend it. It’s a great piece of Australian cinema. Also check out Wake in Fright, which is now on Netflix Instant.