Lean on Pete is about Charley Thompson, a 15-year-old homeless boy in Portland, Oregon, whose best friend is an ailing racehorse named Lean on Pete. Charley sets off an a dangerous journey to find his only known relative, who once lived 1,000 miles away in Wyoming.
“When reading the novel you can not help but care for Charley,” says the out filmmaker, who came to prominence with the gay drama Weekend. “Whatever he is faced with he keeps moving forward; he keeps running, working, driving, stealing, dreaming, trying to hold on, believing that something better is around the corner.”
He says while the story is never sentimental, “it is ultimately hopeful.”
Haigh’s current directorial project, 45 Years, earned praise at the Berlin Film Festival in February, when it won two Silver Bear awards.
Starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay, the film sees a couple’s long-term marriage threatened when the body of the husband’s first love is discovered, frozen and preserved in the icy glaciers of the Swiss Alps. It’s slated for release in the UK in August.
Haugh will start work on Lean on Pete after completing Looking’s one-off finale film.
h/t: Screen Daily