Nicolas Winding Refn is set to explode. He’s the man behind the acclaimed Scandinavian drug world trilogy, Pusher. He brought Tom Hardy to Hollywood’s attention with Bronson, the dramatized true story of Britain’s most violent prisoner. He also turned Mads Mikkelsen into an absolutely savage one-eyed viking bad-ass in the unflinching Valhalla Rising.
Refn is a filmmaker who makes visceral, violent and brutal films that are also very human. Uncomfortable but provocative, and darkly beautiful.
His new film, Drive, has been getting a great reception at festivals, scoring a Palme d’Or nomination and the Best Director award at Cannes. The film tells the story of a Hollywood stuntman, who moonlights as a getaway driver, that gets a price put on his head following a botched job. Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Carey Mulligan & Christina Hendricks. The film is set for a wide release this September. It’s safe to say that we here at Filmophilia are eagerly anticipating it. Personally I am making a point of avoiding trailers for it to go in as unspoiled and fresh as possible.
Refn has a whole slate of projects in the pipeline over the coming years. Next is the Thailand-set western, Only God Forgives, another film with Ryan Gosling, that revolves around a cop and gangster settling the score in a boxing ring. After that he’ll move into the Hollywood proper, directing the Logan’s Run remake for Warner Bros., again with Gosling.
In between those two Refn might do yet another Gosling project but one that’s completely different from his other films, an Albert Brooks scripted, New York-set romantic comedy. He’ll surely find a way to make that new and fresh.
Gosling and Refn might end up as one of those legendary actor-director team-ups. Only time will tell.
Refn hopes that if the remake is successful he’ll get to make his passion project: A Wonder Woman film starring Christina Hendricks. Yes, a million times yes. With his track record it could easily be the most interesting superhero film in years.
“Like all art forms, film is a media as powerful as weapons of mass destruction; the only difference is that war destroys and film inspires.”