David Michod’s ‘The Rover’ Starts Shooting

Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce are currently sweltering in the South Australian desert…

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It’s about time the film world heard back from David Michôd. Since his piercing, violently intense 2010 crime thriller Animal Kingdom, the Australian director has seemingly sat back, preferring to watch his local cast reap the fruits of their labour, including, but not limited to, contributions by Joel Edgerton and Jacki Weaver in Best Picture nominees Zero Dark Thirty and Silver Linings Playbook respectively. Michôd’s silence has been broken, however, with news that he has just commenced his seven-week shoot for The Rover, a slow-burning thriller set in the South Australian desert.

Set in a dangerous, damaged, but not quite post-apocalyptic future, The Rover stars one of Australia’s most reliable yet perennially underrated exports, Guy Pearce, as Eric, a straggler who has left everything, everyone and every semblance of human kindness behind him when a gang of desperate criminals steal his last possession. Eric sets off on a ruthless mission to track them down, forced along the way to enlist the help of Rey (Robert Pattinson, still trying admirably to shed his vampiric typecasting), the naïve and injured junior member of the gang  who was left behind in the chaos of the gang's most recent robbery.

And while the bare bones of this violent buddy-actioner tinged with a lust for revenge sound a little similar to a certain other Oscar hopeful, Michôd’s control over both camera and script – as was the case with Animal Kingdom – promises a more serious, demanding insight into the complex relationship between two men whose goals look set to constantly alter between thriving and simply surviving. 

Those deterred by Pattinson’s casting may be swayed by an utterly intimidating supporting group. Joining Animal Kingdom alumni Susan Prior and Anthony Hayes are Scoot McNairy (Killing Them Softly, Argo) as Pattinson’s brother, Gillian Jones (Oscar and Lucinda, The Tree) and David Field (Chopper).

The film must feel like a family reunion all across the board for Michôd, who is reunited with the producer of his greatest triumph as well in Porchlight Films. “We are shooting in some of the most haunting and stunning landscapes in the world,” claims representative Liz Watts, in a co-statement with Lava Bear Films’ David Linde, adding, “We are fortunate to have such an exceptional cast and a truly talented crew.”

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