WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN

Pedro Almodóvar Says His ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Would Have Had “A Lot More Gay Sex”

Brokeback Mountain
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain.

We were this close to getting a Brokeback Mountain directed by the iconic Pedro Almodóvar, and had it happened it would have included way more gay sex.

Related: Jake Gyllenhaal Has Hard Time Expressing How Heath Ledger’s Death Affected Him

While promoting his new flick Julieta, the iconic Spanish director told The Empire Film Podcast that he was originally set to direct the 2005 film. Not only that, had he taken the job, it would have differed significantly from Ang Lee‘s vision.

“More sex, more sex,” he said.

Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar, via cynsimp on Flickr. CC 2.0.

“It’s not gratuitous,” he added. “The Annie Proulx story is about a physical relation, an animal relation. So sex is necessary because it is the body of the story. So I always have the image that these two guys start making love to each other like the animals that they were taking care of. I mean, against the cold in the mountains, yes, a way to survive in the mountains.”

Related: Five Fascinating Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Gay Sex

Almodóvar said the romantic relationship that developed between the two characters is an accident that develops much to their surprise.

He added that he loved Ang Lee’s movie and the performances turned in by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, and that he isn’t sure he could have gotten his version of the movie made in the U.S. anyway.

“It seems to me I could do that in Europe, but not in the United States,” he concluded.

Related: Heath Ledger Based His “Brokeback Mountain” Character On His Homophobic Gay Uncle

Listen to the podcast below. Almodóvar’s interview begins at around the 41 minute mark and he starts talking about “Brokeback Mountain” at around the 54 minute mark.

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13 Comments

  • Billy Budd

    He is a true genius and would have made a much better movie. Notice how he says he does not want to put his feet on US soil.

  • Billy Budd

    I must addd that I admire Ang Lee very much and his movie ICE STORM is a masterpiece. But Almodovar is a red blooded spaniard with fire in his loins (maybe in his tush too). He would know how to portray a wild romance between men like nobody else in the world.

  • rand503

    I agree Pedro could have done a bang up job. But if there was a lot of gay sex, it may well have turned off critics and paying customers alike. Back then, explicit gay sex was still a real taboo. Today, he could probably get away with it, but I’m not sure if that would have been true ten years ago or so.

    What’s stopping him from doing a remake?

  • Me2

    Personally, I like how their relationship was depicted as being about more than sex. It was a complex love story. I don’t see how more sex scenes would’ve made it any better.

  • Jack Meoff

    @rand503: 10 years ago explicit gay sex was still taboo in the US. Other countries have been more liberal for much longer while the US have remained puritanical. It has meant that many movies made by American studios for American consumption have been sanitised and not followed the original authors vision in order to get mass consumption. Hopefully this is changing and that writers will no longer need to compromise their vision in order to get their story told.

  • oz1967

    @Me2: Thank you I fully agree and why the fuck hasn’t he? there are many important stories out there, instead of shiting on someone elses work that broke real ground, go and actually make something you asshat. Pedro you have had plenty of time since Brokebacks release its easy to be a fucking armchair critic even as a respected director.

  • jcoberkrom

    WRONG! Ang Lee did it right! Almodovar makes interesting movies but he does not make classics.

  • ppp111

    @rand503:

    Totally agree. Back then even seeing two men kissing onscreen or in a romantic embrace was enough to get some straight audience members head for the door. Besides, I thought Lee did a fantastic job.

  • crowebobby

    I love Almodovar’s movies, especially the early ones, but I think his Brokeback Mountain would have been different to the point where it wouldn’t have been telling the same story at all. For me, Lee’s (and Proulx’s) Brokeback Mountain is more about how the hostility of the world around them made their love impossible than it is about the love itself. If they’d been two young guys comfortable with their f*cking (allowing for much more of it in the film), they could have packed their bags and made for NY or SF; I think Ennis had as much trouble accepting their “affair” as the world around him did.

  • Tobi

    The film was pretty faithful to Proulx’s short story, there wasn’t a huge amount of sex in it, just missed chances and opportunities, I always felt it was more about attempt to constantly recreate-and-recreate one wonderful summer and failing. Almodovar’s porn version would be interesting, but it’d more StraightBrokeBoysMountains.

  • cavasa22

    I don’t think Almodovar would have made a good movie with this script. He specializes in transvestites, child molesters, rapists, and crazy women for his characters in his movies. His creativity is very limited, and this story was not about sex, it was about love through time and the obstacles the two men had to face. Ang Lee did a terrific movie, respected the original story and that is what he delivered, Heath Ledger and Jake Gillenhaal did great interpretations of the characters. So thank God Almodovar did not get his hands on this very special movie.

  • Mick406

    Lee’s version was gloriously beautiful, but I think he failed to ‘establish’ the chronology of a homo relationship. The movie jumps from two people who don’t know each other directly to anal sex in a tent. Where were all the “betweens”? A ton of explicit sex would have been a turnoff to a majority of film goers.

    To me, the most essential things were left out. The things that might sway heterosexuals to at least see HOW homo relationships blossom or even accidentally begin. Where was the first eroticism, like the glances by two men urinating in the wild? Where was the first accidental catching of the other one masturbating, and the usual chiding and laughter that follows such a thing? What about the first prolonged looks when bathing, or changing clothes, showing there are erotic thoughts yet to be acted on by someone who may not even know they DO have the ability to act upon them? Where is that first hurdle of acknowledging we can masterbate in the same tent, and ‘allow’ that unusual moment of ‘sharing’? The discussion of “Hey, we’ve all got our needs!” The next stage of mutual masterbation? Then, the follow-up of: “Wanna see what a strange hand feels like?” Those natural elements of building a mutual sexual relationship is what is missing.

    The anal sex scene is exactly what all homophobes think, that everyone is constantly sticking it to each other in the ass and how repulsive those queers are!. There could have been many more heart rendering moments of ‘realism’. The things that occur that changes sexual feelings in people who may not be aware of they have underlying homo feelings. The movie could have shown how for some of us we could never have foreseen us clinging to another guy and eventually establishing a homosexual relationship. That only a very special person in an extraordinary situation (alone together in the mountains for a long period of time) could have opened those floodgates and triggered passions never before contemplated. All you have to do is think about your first times and you will know what I mean.

  • surreal33

    Mr Almodovar, two men engaged in anal intercourse is not art nor does it make a classic movie. The gay media and certain directors always pander to the lowest common denominator.
    Brokeback Mountain, beautifully illustrated love between two men as well as the angst that sometimes accompanies love. Brokeback Mountain told the story of two men in love without being a sleazy, mindless, porn flick. The lives and loves of gay men are so much more than gratutious sex and naked dick shots.

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