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Robert Pattinson 'The Rover': Far from Edward Cullen in Bloody Australian Outback

Robert Pattinson The Rover Guy PearceRobert Pattinson, Guy Pearce in The Rover photo: Bloody Australian Outback

In recent years, Robert Pattinson has bravely made a concerted effort to distance himself from his Edward Cullen persona – that of the Twilight Saga's sparkling vampire that made him world famous as a member of a(n insufferable) love triangle also featuring Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. Writer-director David Michôd's thriller The Rover, co-starring Guy Pearce, is Pattinson's latest attempt to play a character radically different from Edward. (Image: The Rover Robert Pattinson, far from Edward Cullen but uncomfortably close to Guy Pearce.)

Currently filming in Australia and set in the near future following worldwide financial collapse (unclear if caused by the recent controversial Cyprus bailout non-deal), The Rover features Robert Pattinson as a kind-hearted Australian Outback gang member. Guy Pearce, who had previously roamed the Australian Outback in high heels and outlandish costumes as one of the flaming drag queens in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, plays a man who goes off the deep end after Pattinson's gang steals his car.

As David Michôd, whose previous effort was the acclaimed Animal Kingdom, told EW.com, The Rover's “basic story is really quite elemental. You've got a really dark, dangerous, murderous person in Guy's character, and in Rob's character you have a quite troubled and damaged, but beautiful and naïve, soul.”

Michôd adds that, in regard to another thriller involving gangs, cars, and the Australian Outback, George Miller / Mel Gibson's trash classic Mad Max, “I think The Rover is going to be way more chillingly authentic and menacing.” Well, if the Robert Pattinson / Guy Pearce picture above is any indication, Michôd may have a point.

Based on a story by Michôd and Joel Edgerton (soon to be seen opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby), besides Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce The Rover features Killing Them Softly's Scoot McNairy as Pattinson's brother, Nash Edgerton (Joel's brother), Samuel F. Lee, Anthony Hayes, and David Field.

Robert Pattinson: Far from Edward Cullen

Prior to The Rover's “beautiful and naïve” gang member Reynolds, Robert Pattinson's un-Edward characters included the troubled youth romancing Emilie de Ravin in Allen Coulter's Remember Me, the ambitious ex-soldier Georges Duroy in Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod's (in my humble opinion vastly underrated) Bel Ami, the arrogant New York City billionaire Eric Packer bent on getting a haircut in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, and the more audience-friendly ex-veterinary student who romances Reese Witherspoon's circus performer in Francis Lawrence's Water for Elephants. (Pattinson also played a gay Salvador Dalí in Paul Morrison's Little Ashes, but that was before he hit stardom.)

Of those, Cosmopolis was the best received internationally – though the film had its many detractors as well – while Water for Elephants was the only non-Twilight Pattinson effort that wasn't a box office disappointment (or downright bomb), grossing a respectable $117.09 million worldwide. (See also: “Robert Pattinson Cosmopolis: Vicious Attacks.”)

If all goes well, next for Robert Pattinson are Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire's anti-Zero Dark Thirty-ish (as in, no torture) Hunt for Saddam Hussein drama Mission: Blacklist; James Marsh's thriller Hold on to Me, opposite Carey Mulligan; Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert, in which Pattinson is to play T.E. Lawrence (Peter O'Toole in David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia), opposite Naomi Watts and Jude Law; and another David Cronenberg effort, Maps to the Stars, which was to have co-starred Viggo Mortensen and Rachel Weisz, though things seem to be up in the air now.

For the record, Robert Pattinson's five appearances as the quite likable – if way underused – Edward Cullen were in Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight, Chris Weitz's New Moon, David Slade's Eclipse, and Bill Condon's Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and Breaking Dawn - Part 2.

The Rover Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce photo: Matt Nettheim / Porchlight Films / Lava Bear Films / Screen Australia, via EW.com.

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5 Comments to Robert Pattinson 'The Rover': Far from Edward Cullen in Bloody Australian Outback

  1. Bennett

    Of course US theater owners were disappointed with the Remember Me box office, but it's not their fault the US wasn't ready to deal with 9/11. You'll remember that despite 10 times the advertising and promotion, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was a flop. No matter what formula you use, it didn't make a profit.

    The international success of Remember Me just highlights that Pattinson is popular worldwide, he isn't one of those actors with only a US following. And worldwide, they were much more willing to watch a film with a tough ending and that included 9/11. They've been dealing with terrorism a lot longer than the US. And RM really got very little advertising or promo in the US, so they didn't blow the budget on that. They knew it would have a limited appeal, it didn't have a happy ending, and everyone knows those kinds of films are not going to draw a massive audience. Still, I think Pattinson is making smart choices for a long lasting career as an actor, not a movie star.

  2. Andre


    You're wrong about Robert Pattinson and Alt Film Guide.

    “Rob” (is he your buddy? Please say 'Hi' to him for us) isn't the only film personality “that reviews and box office numbers of his movies are scrutinize [sic] in every possible way” etc. etc. See, for us box-office data is something called “information,” not “drama.” That's why box-office figures are often mentioned when we have that sort of information available.

    Now, I'm not sure if we have any detailed box-office info on Michelle Williams or Rachel Weisz … but how about Selena Gomez?

    Colin Farrell?

    Sylvester Stallone?

    Bruce Willis?

    Arnold Schwarzenegger?

    Pedro Almodóvar?

    Warner Bros.?

    After a quick search (the above articles were all posted in the last couple of months), I couldn't find anything on Alt Film Guide about the history of James Franco's box-office popularity, but I myself did recently write a few articles about his 2013 cinematic range, which includes box-office figures for “Oz” and “Spring Breakers,” in addition to information about his “sex movies” (no box office data as they haven't been released yet):

    And if you think Robert Pattinson isn't trying to shake off his association with Edward Cullen and Twilight, then you're definitely NOT paying attention. And you clearly have little understanding of film history, and how the majority of superstars from the early days of cinema to 2013 have kept/keeps on playing the same roles over and over and over again because that — “the safe and the expected” — is what gets asses into theater seats.

    And that's why what Robert Pattinson has been doing professionally is great news for *real* movie lovers (as opposed to those who are strictly Twilight/Edward Cullen fans).

  3. Anon

    It seems Rob is the only actor that reviews and box office numbers of his movies are scrutinize in every possible way and they are bring up in every article related to him.He doesn't distance himself from Edward he just plays various roles,because he is an actor.Once again author of this article is trying to make a drama.I would love to read box office of J.Franco movies outside of Oz,and also Rachel Weisz's,or M.Williams',all of them are Oscar nomenee/winners.

  4. Andre


    I'm not sure if the Robert Pattinson-Reese Witherspoon movie “Water for Elephants” was “profitable” at the box office. It may have broken even. But again, $117m is a “respectable” sum, as mentioned in the article. Either way, the film surely ended up in the black once ancillary revenues were tallied.

    The same goes for “Remember Me,” though, again, I find it doubtful that the $16m film (plus another $6-$10m? in marketing / distribution costs; possibly some box-office-gross sharing arrangement?) “made a profit” at the box office alone. The “3x budget formula” is quite iffy, especially in a case when most of the film's box-office revenues came from outside North America as the studios/producing companies get a considerably lower percentage of international box-office grosses (as a rule of thumb, 40% vs. 50-55% domestic). But irrespective of the “Remember Me” contractual arrangements with distributors / exhibitors outside the U.S., $19m in North America for a 2010 romantic melodrama starring Robert Pattinson surely left at least U.S. distributor Summit disappointed.

  5. Bennett

    You're wrong about WFE being the only profitable movie. Remember Me made a profit, if you use the 3x the budget formula. The budget was $16 million and it made $56,032,889 worldwide. Not a smash hit, but it did make a profit, which is what counts, especially considering so many New Yorkers couldn't deal with the ending. So two of Pattinson's indie films outside the Twi franchise have made money, something none of his other co-stars can claim.

    You are also right about him being likable if underused (we can actually be happy about that) in the Twilight franchise. He's said himself that it will take about 10 years for people to forget about Twilight, but with the line up of films he'll have coming out in the next couple of years, hopefully the Twi amnesia will happen sooner rather than later for Pattinson.