Michael Fassbender (Macbeth (2015)) has made a name for himself in Hollywood by combining big blockbuster movies like Prometheus and X-Men: Days Of Future Past with smaller, more serious and dramatically charged movies like Shame and 12 Years A Slave, but this year looks more like it’s going to fall into the latter with the upcoming release of Slow West. Taking him to the dangers of the Wild West with a vicious story of survival, there’s also an element of blurred genres in the mix as there’s more than a note of action and more serious drama to the film.
Though Slow West premiered at the Sundance International Film Festival on the 24th January 2015, an official release date hasn’t been announced as of yet, which is a similar situation for Fassbender’s other big film release this year, a new movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. With a premier under its belt already, we expect that it won’t be too long before the general cinematic release is announced and we’ll update here as soon as we know more about the scheduling.
The film follows an innocent young Scottish fugitive called Jay who has travelled across the Atlantic on a mad mission to find the love of his life only to discover the wilds of Colorado waiting for him. Set in 19th century America, the young, naive journeyman runs into trouble when he’s confronted by a dangerous drifter called Silas (Fassbender) in the relative quiet of a forest trail, resulting in a stand-off that looks likely to end in bloodshed.
However, when Silas shows mercy and offers to be Jay’s guide and protector in exchange for a healthy payout, they strike up an unlikely alliance that sees them setting out on the journey together. With betrayal, violence and the full blown danger of the American west bubbling beneath the surface of everything it’s a pretty fraught partnership right from the very beginning, not least of all because from the look of the image above Silas will also be taking on the cut throat razor duties along the way.
Fassbender is joined by the now more grown up, but still slightly elfiin Kodi Smit-McPhee, AKA the kid from The Road, as the young travelling fugitive, Jay. The cast also includes Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, The Place Beyond The Pines), Caren Pistorius and Rory McCann (Game Of Thrones).
John Maclean has written and directed Slow West and it’s been produced by a team of Iain Canning, Emile Sherman (The King’s Speech, Shame) of See-Saw Films, Conor McCaughan and executive producer Michael Fassbender of DMC Film and Rachel Gardner of Rachel Gardner Films. It was developed by Film4 with added financial backing from the BFI, the New Zealand Film Commission and Fulcrum Media Finance.
We’re still on the fence on this one. The story sounds like it could work well and the combination of Smit-McFee and Fassbender should make for a pretty strong field, but we’ll know more once the trailer lands. However, on a positive note it’s already been named as the dramatic winner in the World Cinema Jury Prize by the Sundance Institute, so it could go on to be another impressive outing for the pair.