The Italian website FilmTV.it has published the production notes for The Rover and I think you’ll agree they make interesting reading. They shed a little more light on the plot and give a bit more insight into the main characters.
Don’t worry though there aren’t any spoilers!
THE ROVER: THE CONSEQUENCES OF ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IN A NEAR FUTURE
Directed by David Michôd and based on a story written by the director himself paired with Joel Edgerton, The Rover is set in Australia a decade after the collapse of the western economy, in a context in which the mines are still active and have attracted men more desperate and dangerous and where survival is a daily struggle. The protagonist of the story is Eric, a drifter who has left everything behind and who is full of anger at the theft by a gang of his car, the only thing he had left. His only chance of finding the car is given by Rey, one of the Mebra band which was abandoned after being injured. Forced by circumstances, the two men will pair up for a trip that no one could have predicted the outcome.
Notwithstanding take place in the near future, The Rover is the intention of the authors work on the contemporary, the ability of Western economies to self-destruct because of their own greed and the inevitable change in the balance of power globally. Speaking of issues ranging from the lust for power to the destruction of the environment through the desperate attempts of man to not sink in that dysfunctional society, The Rover, however, is not a dystopian film and described the situation, that of a world pillaged and drained forces and systems quite real, plausible and possible.
As a sort of futuristic western, as a backdrop to the story is the ‘outback ’Australia, where people from all over the world come to work in the mines which supply the new world order in the hands of Asia: Australia has the same partially avoided the economic collapse in 2008 thanks to exports to China and the strength of its mining industry.
Photographed by Natasha Braier, who has opted for the Super 35 format, The Rover was shot over seven weeks (from 28 January to 16 March 2013) in the southern desert of Australia, in the chain of the Flinders Ranges. Among the various places that were the location, the most important is the town of Marree , eight hours drive from Adelaide and close to Lake Eyre. Populated by only 90 inhabitants, Marree is the last frontier of civilization before arriving in the desert and gladly hosted the crew of Michôd, providing the designer Josephine Ford homes and a small hotel.
THE MAIN CHARACTERS
The main characters of The Rover are two very different men. The first, Eric, is a violent and bitter Australian, a former soldier Misanthrope who lost his farm and his family and anti-hero, not want to regain back what was stolen from three criminals: the car with a mysterious bunch. The second, Rey, is a simple and naive American youngster, whose age does not allow him to remember the time when things were different. Like many other individuals of The Rover, Rey arrived in Australia along with his elder brother Henry to find work in the mining sector and is found to interact with Chinese, Cambodians and of course, ending with the Aussies find themselves in legal actions soon harnessed by Henry and his two friends Archie and Caleb.
Played by Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, the two men throw in pursuit of dangerous individuals, finding himself caught up in an ongoing series of action, tension, danger and plot twists. Along the way, also, find themselves having to face even the folds of their emotional confusion.
The actor Scott McNairy plays Henry, the elder brother of Rey, while the main cast of The Rover ’s David names includes Field (Archie), Tawanda Manyimo (Caleb), and Gillian Jones, Anthony Hayes and Susan Prior.