The Way Coming Soon

Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son, killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of St James. Driven by his profound sadness and desire to understand his son better, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage, leaving his “California bubble life” behind.

Armed with his son’s backpack and guidebook, Tom navigates the 800km pilgrimage from the Pyrenees, to Santiago de Compostela in the north west of Spain, but soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey.

While walking The Camino, Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world, all broken and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen) a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irish writer (James Nesbitt) who is suffering from a bout of “writer’s block”.

From the hardship experiences along “The Way” this unlikely quartet of misfits create an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again, and discovers the difference between “The life we live and the life we choose”. THE WAY was filmed entirely in Spain and France along the actual Camino de Santiago.

Cast & Crew

Emilio Estevez – Daniel & Director

THE WAY is Emilio Estevez’s fourth film as writer/director and marks the third collaboration with his actor/father, Martin Sheen. Emilio has established himself not only as an accomplished actor, but also as a talented writer, director and producer. In 2006, he wrote, directed and co-starred in the Golden Globe nominated for Best Picture BOBBY, which revisits the night before Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated as the Ambassador Hotel in 1968 and is set against the backdrop of the cultural issues gripping the country at the time, including racism, sexual inequality and class differences.

He made his acting debut in Tim Hunter’s TEX and appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s ensemble drama THE OUTSIDERS, both based on S.E. Hinton novels.

Estevez’s performance as a quintessential high-school jock in John Hughes’ THE BREAKFAST CLUB won him widespread attention and acclaim. Later that same year, he went on to appear in ST. ELMOS’S FIRE before starring in THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW, for which he also wrote the screenplay.

Estevez made his directorial debut in 1986 with WISDOM, which he also wrote and starred in. In 1996, Estevez directed Martin Sheen for the first time in the Vietnam drama THE WAR AT HOM which Emilio also starred in and produced. In 2000, he directed and co-starred alongside his brother, Charlie Sheen, in Showtime’s RATED X which was the first time Estevez and Sheen portrayed brothers on screen. Other film credits include, REPO MAN, STAKEOUT, YOUNG GUNS, YOUNG GUNS II, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, and THE MIGHTY DUCKS.

In addition to creating original material as a screenwriter, the past few years has also seen Emilio working behind the camera, directing many popular television shows including “Cold Case”, “CSI:NY” “Numbers” and “The Guardian”.

Estevez is currently preparing his next film JOHNNY LONGSHOT a sports family franchise set in the world of competitive harness racing, that he will direct and star.

When not working in film and TV, Emilio, an avid gardener, enjoys working outdoors in his organic micro-farm, growing heirloom vegetables, raising chickens and tending his pinot grape vines that produce his own wines under the Casa Dumetz label.

Juanmi Azpiroz – Cinematographer

Spanish Cinematographer Juanmi was born in San Sebastian, Spain and dreamed of becoming a musician. To get closer to his favourite rock bands, he started taking photographs at concerts in his hometown. Upon moving to Madrid for college, he got a chance to apprentice on a film set and never left. For the past 20 years he has worked on more than 70 films in addition to the numerous commercials and music videos that have taken him all around the world where he still manages to visit local record shops at every opportunity.

On a recent trip to Los Angeles, his first stop was Amoeba records in Hollywood before our meeting to discuss his experience working on the THE WAY, which he agreed to do before even reading the script. He said the decision was both a personal and professional one that serendipitously happened at the perfect time. The Camino de Santiago has been an important part of his upbringing on account of his father, who has done the Camino four times, with plans to do it again on his upcoming 70th birthday. As a young man, Juanmi respected his father for making the pilgrimage but had no interest in walking the Camino himself. This film has changed that. Working on THE WAY has given him a deeper connection with his father, a richer knowledge of his work and his country, and a newfound interest in following this historical path.

Q: Why did you choose to work on this film?

I didn’t even think about it for a minute. I said yes before even reading the script. Two or three months before Emilio called me I saw BOBBY and I thought that it was a really good movie and when he called me I couldn’t believe it.

Q: What was your father’s reaction when you told him you were working on THE WAY?

He was very excited when I told him about this film. He came to the set five times. Of all the movies I have done he has never given a shit about any of them. But the day I told him about the Camino he said “Ok! I know a lot about the Camino,” and he bought a book about the Camino and he gave it to the producers!

Q: Did this film change your perspective about Spain?

Not about Spain because I knew most of the places because I travel a lot, but by the time we finishes the film I wanted to walk the Camino. During production we were totally involved with the people, countryside, the hostels, and the churches of northern Spain, which only strengthened my desire. Also, I had always wanted to do the Camino with my godfather, but now I am seriously thinking about doing it alone. It has to be a good experience of walking along for 21-31 days. If you are with another person you don’t need to meet anyone. If you are alone you need help and you will help others. You are forced to meet people and these days, most people don’t do that. We generally go to a bar, stay on our own and hardly talk to anyone. So I think it is a reconnection to the land and the people. I am doing it for fun, for sport and for the experience.

Q: What did you think when you saw the film?

I am very happy with the movie but I have to wait at least 5 years to be comfortable with my work on a film. This happens to me always with every movie I do. Right now I am too attached to the film. I am too attached to the crew, the actors, to the story. It is like going to the school theater to see you son play. So now I am seeing my son playing and I need to see the whole play and I ma not able to see it. It takes me a long time see a movie I have worked on as an audience member.

Q: Watching now do you remember shooting the film or was it a dream?

I remember every single second of it. Maybe I don’t remember what I ate yesterday morning for breakfast but I remember everything about the shoot. Every t-stop and what I did that night and what was happening on the set and if I argued with the AD (assistant director). And Emilio does too. Making a movie is such a strong experience. It is a few months of your life that you live only for that. There is nothing in the world that can disturb you from making the movie. It is like having a girlfriend you remember every single moment that you passed with that girl. After a few years you forget a little bit and you only remember the hot spots but now it is very fresh.

Q: You have talked before about Spain being one of the main characters in the movie. How did you want to represent our country?

The beautiful thing about the northern Spanish landscape that we covered is the diversity. You go from a very green area in the mountains to a very dry area in Castilla and then back again toward a green area in Galicia, and in the case of this movie, all the way to the sea in Muxia, which is spectacular. I tried to respect the landscape and not do anything weird. I know the land very well so I was concerned about representing it properly. Others may it was gorgeous like it is, and it is beautiful like it is, but my eye is more critical.

The truth is if I go to Zuma beach to shoot, for instance, I will say, “Wow this is fantastic exactly the way it is.” But maybe to someone who sees it every day they will say, “No the beach is not the right color and that police car over there shouldn’t be there,” where I would think, “Wow that police car is perfect, what a perfect police car!” It is all about perspective.

Q: Is there a favourite scene you liked shooting?

I enjoyed the river scene with Martin and I enjoyed the dinner scene in Akeretta. I also liked ending at the sea. It was a very, very hard day. It was raining and the weather was horrible and we couldn’t shoot for hours. And suddenly, the rain stopped, the sky opened and it was a wonderful day. I cant tell you how lucky we were. If there is a God he gave me all the favors for my life on this film because our weather was perfect the whole time, which is unusual in the fall when we were shooting. So that was particularly interesting. Also was the end of the movie was the end of the Camino and the end of the journey for all of us.

Q: What was it like working with Emilio?

Super easy. First of all because he knows what he wants and that is always great. He is also very good with actors, he is an actor and eh knows very well how to treat the actors and how to direct them. That is more than half the battle in a movie. Then he wrote a good script with good lines. At that point I can do the shit and the movie is going to be good. Plus he gave me a lot of freedom as to where I wanted to put the cameras. We had two cameras so we decided together where we wanted the first one and I could pretty much decide on my own where to put the second one and I felt very comfortable.

He is also, I don’t know how to say it in English, he is asakeela- he is a very easy person to talk to and he listens to you. He is a very good communicator. Plus, he did the one thing that is very difficult to do. The whole crew was in love with the film. Everyone would have done anything for him on the set.

Q: How common is that on a film set?

Not very common at all. Sometimes you may have a very good director but he is a mother fucker and he shouts at everyone and sometimes he is a very nice person but not a good director, so it is not that easy at all.

Q: Did Emilio have an American or Spanish sensibility on set?

I don’t think sensibility has a nationality. If you are sensible you are sensible. If you have culture, you have culture. Being sensible and being aware of what is happening with the crew and the actors and how the movie is progressing you have to be sensible and that doesn’t matter if you are Spanish or English or American.

For most of us in Spain, America is like our second culture. On set I would always talk about American movies, music and bands and places and I remember one day setting up the camera and I said “Wow, this looks like New Hampshire,” and Emilio and David both looked at me and laughed like “What? What do you know about New Hampshire?” I said, “The problem with you Americans is that I know where New Hampshire is and you don’t know anything about where Burgos is!”

Q: How do you think the Spanish audience will view this versus and American audience?

I think in Spain most of the people don’t know much about the Camino. In the north of Spain more people know about it because it goes over your house, but in Seville and Valencia, for instance, they know that the Camino exists but they don’t know the route. And for sure most of the people in Spain they will see places they have never seen.

Q: What did you learn throughout this experience?

We shot very fast and we shot a lot of footage. We did what we had to and we did it very well. I learned to shoot faster and to improve every minute on the set and to maximize natural light because that is what we had to use. When we finished the shoot my crew that was made up of my friends kicked ass because they said when I am involved in a project I don’t think about anything else except the project and that I push them very hard. I always want them to be ready before anyone and I learned to be more aware of how I treat my crew. I do treat them well and I have very high expectations for them because they are very good and they were always ready and prepared but the ended the shoot very tired.

Q: Did you think everyone had fun?

I enjoyed every second on the shoot. I always say that the director and the DP (director of photography) live in Disneyland and the crew has to work very, very hard for us to create Disneyland for us so they probably enjoyed the shoot less than us. If you are inside Mickey Mouse you enjoy it less than we you get to enjoy Mickey Mouse from the outside.

Q: What message do you hope the audience will come away with from watching this movie?

That is impossible to know. That is part of the magic of movies. When I saw the movie I felt very attached to the actors and to the characters so I think the audience is going to react very well because it is a movie about the Camino and four people who are walking with their differences and their own personal problems. And everyone has problems. You might find one of the four characters is closer to you. In the end, you like watching movies primarily for the characters, not necessarily for the car chases and the action. It is fun and I like shooting that but when a movie touches your heart it is because you are attached to a character and to a story and this is a very good story for them.

Q: So how is your dad going to react to this movie?

I think my dad is going to love this movie and he never goes to movies.

Martin Sheen – Tom

Martin Sheen is one of our most celebrated, colourful, and accomplished journeyman actors.
The Ohio native has appeared in more than 65 feature films including a start turn as Army Captain Benjamin L. Willard in Francis Ford Coppola’s landmark film APOCALYPSE NOW, which brought Sheen worldwide recognition. Other notable credits include WALL STREET (with some Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas), the Academy Award-winning film GANDHI (with Sir Ben Kingsley) CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (with Leonardo Di Capri & Tom Hanks), THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT (with Michael Douglas & Annette Bening), and a Golden Globe nominated breakthrough performance in THE SUBJECT WAR ROSES.

In 2006, Sheen played ill-fated cop Oliver Queen an in Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning THE DEPARTED opposite Leonardo Di Caprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, and Alec Baldwin.

The same year, Sheen joined another all-star ensemble cast for the highly acclaimed feature BOBBY, written and directed by his son Emilio Estevez. BOBBY was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and SAG Award among others. The film also starred Anthony Hopkins, Harry Belafonte, Laurence Fishburne, Helen Hunt, Brian Geraghty, Sharon Stone, William H. Macy, Elijah Wood, Demi Moore, and Shia LaBeouf.

For television audiences, Sheen is best recognized for his award-winning role as President Josiah Bartlet in NBC’S THE WEST WING.

Sheen is a passionate peace and justice activist. He has been arrested or cited 67 times for taking part in non-violent demonstrations against various U.S. military policies, and has championed such causes as the alleviation of poverty and homelessness, human rights for migrant workers, and environmental protection.

In 2008, along with Carlos Santana and Edward James Olmos, Sheen became a National Co-Chair of the effort to win a Federal holiday for the late Cesar E. Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers.

The same year, the University of Notre Dame presented Sheen with the Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious award given to an American Catholic. Since 1883, the Laetare Medal has been awarded annually to a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the church and enriched the heritage of humanity.”

Former recipients include: President John F. Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr, Sister Helen Prejean, Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr., Catholic Worker Movement founder Dorothy Day, and Ambassador and author Clare Boothe Luce.

Deborah Kara Unger – Sarah

As the first Canadian accepted into Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), award-winning actress Deborah Kara Unger debuted with Russell Crowe in BLOOD OATH, and has co-starred in such films as: David Fincher’s THE GAME with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn, Norman Jewison’s HURRICAN with Denzel Washington, PAYBACK with Mel Gibson, David Cronenberg’s CRASH with James Spader, SIGNS AND WONDERS with Stellan Skarsgard and Charlotte Rampling, Catherine Hardwicke’s THIRTEEN with Holly Hunter, SALTON SEA with Val Kilmer, and 88 MINUTES with Al Pacino.

The recipient of the Geraldine Page Best Actress Award opposite Sir Ian Mckellen in EMILE, and Canadian Academy Award nominations co-starring opposite Sophia Loren and Gerard Depardieu in BETWEEN STRANGERS, and Ralph Fiennes in Istvan Szabo’s SUNSHINE, Ms. Unger’s additional films include the critically acclaimed STANDER with Thomas Jane, THE WEEKEND with Gena Rowlands, LOVE SONGS FOR BOBBY LONG with John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson, WHITE NOISE with Michael Keaton, LEO with Dennis Hopper and Sam Shepard, and Roger Spottiswoode’s Rwandan genocide film SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL.

Ms. Unger was honoured with the Imagery Award at Cinema Epicures, and is the recipient of the Libertae Award for her commitment to the spirit of independence in film.

James Nesbitt – Jack

Jimmy Nesbitt is a Northern Irish actor. He studied at The Central School of Speech and Drama in London. After graduating in 1987, he spent seven years performing in plays that varied from the musical Up on the Roof (1987, 1989) to the political drama Paddywack (1994). He made his feature film debut playing talent Fintan O’Donnell in HEAR MY SONG (1991). Nesbitt got his breakthrough television role playing Adam Williams in the romantic comedy-drama Cold Feet (ITV, 1998/2003), which won him a British Comedy Award, a Television and Radio Industries Club Award, and a National Television Award. His first significant film role came when he appeared as pig farmer “Pig” Finn in WAKING NED (1998). Nesbitt has also starred in Murphy’s Law (BBC One, 2001-2007) as undercover detective Tommy Murphys role that was created for him by writer Colin Bateman. The role twice gained Nesbitt Best Actor nominations at the Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTA). In 2004, he starred in the fact-based drama Wall of Silence as the father of a murdered boy, a role that gained him another IFTA nomination. In 2007, he starred in the dual role of Tom Jackman and Mr Hyde in Steven Moffat’s Jekyll, which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination in 2008. Nesbitt has since appeared in several more dramatic roles; he starred alongside Liam Neeson in FIVE MINUTES OF HEAVEN (2009), was one of three leas actors in the television miniseries Occupation (2009), and has filmed a role in the upcoming miniseries The Deep. Has also filmed roles in the movies OUTCAST (2010) and Emilio Estevez’s THE WAY (2010).

Yorick Van Wageningen – Joost

Yorick van Wageningen is a Dutch actor, who is known for his intense acting style.

After acting in several Dutch plays, movies, and television series, his breakthrough hit was with his role in CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, which earned him much praise by lead actor Vin Diesel. He has starred opposite Amanda Burton, Vin Diesel, Angelina Jolie, Judi Dench, Colin Farrell, Christian Bale, Christopher Plummer and Clive Owen.

After he went to the United States he did not appear in any Dutch film until his return in 2008, starring in OORIOGSWINTER (WINTER IN WARTIME), based on a famous Dutch children’s book about World War II.


The Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James is a spiritual journey that pilgrims of all faiths and backgrounds have traversed for a thousand years. The pilgrimage originally began at one’s doorstep, though modern trekkers today would find that rather difficult, particularly American pilgrims needing to cross the Atlantic. While there are a number of established routes leading to Santiago from all directions, the most popular is the Camino Francaise, which crosses the Pyrenees Mountains along the Spanish-French border starting in St. Jean Pied de Port.

This Camino route covers 800 kilometers that traverses an idyllic northern Spanish countryside. By following the yellow painted arrows marking the road, a pilgrim can expect to walk 12-15 miles a day to reach the next town for the night. At this pace, a pilgrim can reach the Cathedral de Santiago in 6 to 8 weeks time to attend the Pilgrim’s Mass held at noon each day. Some take more time, others less. Some choose to travel by bike, some have done the Camino on horseback. Along the way travellers encounter albergues, refugios and casa rurals that cater specifically to the thousands of pilgrims of all ages that take this journey each year, immersing themselves in the local food, culture and history dedicated to this experience.

Pilgrims walk the Camino for various reasons. Some to seek penance, others enlightenment, and still others for a sense of adventure, yet all progress toward the Cathedral in Santiago where it is believed the remains of the apostle St. James are held. Most pilgrims choose to carry a scallop shell with them to symbolize their journey in honour of St. James. According to legend, scallop shells are said to have covered St. James’ body after it was found on the shores of the Galician coast. Another, perhaps more useful symbol is a walking stick to aid a weary pilgrim on his or her journey. Pilgrims also carry a Compostela, which is a passport that is stamped at each important stop highlighting the completion of the journey officially recognized with a special certificate at the passport office in Santiago.

Regardless of whether a pilgrim’s journey begins for religious, spiritual or cultural reasons, the meditative nature of the Camino offers the perfect landscape in which to dedicate contemplation. Pilgrims follow the path amidst the villages, towns, rivers, mountains and fertile valleys that have changed the lives of millions of pilgrims who walked before them. This year of 2010, a holy year for St. James on July 25th, 200,000 people are expected to make this trek following these well-trodden footsteps of history, paving the way for the millions of footsteps in years to come.


It has always been Martin’s dream to walk the Camino de Santiago. After having the privilege of holding Mother Theresa’s hand, sitting with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican, visiting the holy shrine at Lourdes, and making a film in Medugorje, his next wish regarding his faith was to visit the Cathedral de Santiago by way of its namesake pilgrimage. He was in the middle of his 7-year tenure playing U.S. President Jed Bartlett on the West Wing when he seized a tiny window of opportunity realize his goal, at least in part.

After attending a family reunion in Ireland in the summer of 2003 that celebrated his mother’s lineage, he had a moment of inspiration. He convinced a few family members to fly to Spain in honour of his father’s heritage as well by touring the Way of St. James toward Galicia, his father’s homeland. Unfortunately, seven days was all Martin had before needing to return to work in Los Angeles. Knowing this wasn’t enough time to walk the Camino, he pushed forward presuming it was now or never.

Upon leaving Madrid, he rented a car with friends and family and set out on a northern path toward the nearest Camino town of Burgos to visit the famed Burgos Cathedral built in the 13th Century. From there they hugged the Camino west as best as possible via major highways, detouring at important locations to walk a bit each day. By the end of their trip they arrived in time for the Pilgrim’s Mass at the Cathedral de Santiago. The beauty of the northern Spanish countryside proved too magical to experience in such a short period of time. Martin pledged to return one day soon for a proper pilgrimage toward Santiago.


Through a series of ongoing conversations between Emilio and Martin, the two decided to create a tribute to Spain to rediscover the land where the Estevez family was rooted. The Camino de Santiago served as the perfect partner in the efforts. And while Spain serves as the backdrop, the film’s primary theme of self-discovery belongs to everyone from all ages and backgrounds, as does the Camino, which has helped transform the lives of millions of pilgrims for centuries.

In the film, a father unfortunately comes to understand his son’s life through his death and along the road films himself as well. The main protagonist of the film is the conflict we each have within ourselves of choosing life versus living a life. This greater question of finding oneself is a matter of acceptance and choice. Given the circumstances of our lives, how do we understand ourselves, our family and our friends, and the choices we make? Do we blindly go through life unaware of our actions and how they affect not only ourselves but others as well? What role dos our community, friendships and faith play in our decisions?

The Camino, by its nature, serves as the ultimate metaphor for life. Footsteps along a well-trodden path may be our guide, but do not shield us from the questions that most of our busy everyday lives prevent us from fully recognizing. The road offers very little to hide behind. The process of life is life along whichever road, path Camino, or Way we find ourselves on. Our humanity toward ourselves and others, our history and our future is what defines us. Take this journey of life. Buen Camino!

Official site


Captain Henri TCHÉKY KARIO
David Alexanian Producer
Emilio Estevez Producer
Lisa Niedenthal Co-producer


Original Music by Tyler Bates
Cinematography by Juanmi Azpiroz
Film Editing by Raúl Dávalos
Casting by J.C. Cantu
  Mary Vernieu
Art Direction by Víctor Molero
Costume Design by Tatiana Hernández