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The Rover, on the surface, sounds like an art-house take on Dude, Where’s My Car?. A character named Reynolds pursues the strangers who’ve taken his vehicle. His quest leads him across the Australian Outback. And the main reason we’re interested is because David Michod will direct. Oh, and I guess because Twilight star Robert Pattinson has snagged the lead role.

Deadline says Pattinson will join Guy Pearce in Michod’s film. The director got our attention with the riveting crime-family thriller Animal Kingdom, which co-starred Pearce and earned the terrifying Jacki Weaver an Oscar nod for her portrayal of a protective gangster mom. Michod’s supposedly moving on to a short film that will be part of the ensemble piece Sydney Unplugged, but can tackle The Rover after that.

Pattinson, meanwhile, has a slew of projects on the horizon, and for the first time in a while, they’re not all Twilight-themed. Just this morning, we teased a new clip from the actor’s Cosmopolis, which he’s making with esteemed director David Cronenberg. The passionate period drama Bel Ami drops in the fall. And, yes, Twilight wraps in November with the release Breaking Dawn: Part 2.

But we’re still interested in what direction the Twilight players will head as they test the choppy waters outside of the safe harbor of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire saga. Kristen Stewart is amping up the action for films like Snow White and the Huntsman, while Pattinson commendably attempts to challenge himself in period films and art-house efforts. Will they succeed? We’ll see in time, but pairing himself with directors like Cronenberg and Michod is an excellent step in the right direction for Pattinson.

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