We’ve already told you why we’re extremely excited for The Rover, and at this point, you should be, too. With the film premiering at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, reviews will start to roll in shortly and I, for one, cannot wait to hear what the world thinks of director David Michod’s latest. After wow’ing audiences and really making a name for himself with his debut feature Animal Kingdom, expectations are certainly high for his follow-up and so far, it looks like he’ll be able to deliver.
Starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, the film is set in the Australian outback and follows Pattinson as a “troubled and damaged” man who is carjacked and left for dead by a gang. Forcing one of the abandoned and wounded gang members (Pearce) to help him get revenge, the duo set out to track down those who have wronged them.
It sounds like a simple premise at first, but Michod promises something much deeper and more thought-provoking. He goes into further detail in a recent statement he released, which you can check out below.
The Rover is set in an unspecified near–‐future, but is, in essence, a film about today. It’s about the rapacious capacity for under–‐regulated Western economies to destroy themselves and it’s about the inevitable shifting balance of global power. It’s about the seemingly intractable problems of human greed and environmental destruction and the despair these forces might elicit in struggling people. More than anything, it’s about the ways these factors affect the emotional lives of individuals.
Unlike many films set in a dystopian future, I don’t want the devastation of The Rover to be seen as the consequence of a single unforeseen cataclysmic or apocalyptic event. Imagined cataclysms frequently allow viewers or readers an opportunity to distance themselves from the earth and air of the story. I want The Rover to feel like an entirely conceivable world of the very near future, a world despoiled by very real forces and systems at work all around us today.
The Australian Outback of The Rover is a world ten years after a great Western economic collapse. It’s a near future of social and economic decay. Services, utilities, law and order have fallen into dangerous disrepair. And yet people from all corners of the world have come to this place to work the mines that feed the new world alignment, that feed the great powerhouses of this, the Asian century.
The world of the movie, as such, mirrors the American and Australian gold rushes of the 19th century. People are drawn to the land’s mines and with them come the leeches, the refuse, the hustlers and criminals who hope to exploit the mines’ margins.
This isn’t a complete collapse of society –‐ it’s an inversion of present–‐day global power dynamics. This is Australia as a resource–‐rich Third World country. This is the violence and unrest of contemporary Sierra Leone, DRC, Nigeria and Guinea.
And at the centre of this world are two men –‐ one, a murderously embittered Australian man, a former soldier who has lost his farm and his family; the other, a simple and naive American boy, too young to remember a time when things were anything other than what they are.
It certainly sounds like we’re in for quite a ride with The Rover, as it won’t be just another “gritty revenge tale.” If what Michod says is true, and if what we’ve been hearing/seeing so far is accurate, the slow-burn thriller will play with some big ideas and concepts and ask some tough existential questions.
With its premiere at Cannes right around the corner, A24 has released a new, U.S. theatrical poster for the film today, which features stars Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce with the ominous tagline, “Fear the man with nothing left to lose.” It’s intriguing, to say the least, and teases a dark and dangerous tale of revenge.
The Rover will open on June 20th. Check out the new poster below, along with a clip that was released last week, and let us know what you think.