I’m a big Nicolas Winding Refn fan – that is to say, I adore every frame of Drive, respect the artistic genius of many scenes in Only God Forgives, and have spent multiple evenings reveling in the nasty nihilism of the Pusher trilogy, start to finish. That’s also to say, The Neon Demon is my single most anticipated movie of 2016, and I’ll greedily lap up any shred of intel or promotion for it, no matter how slight. Case in point: today brings three new images from the set of the film, including two behind-the-scenes snaps and one of lead Elle Fanning looking, well, a little concerned.
It’s admittedly not much to go on, but with a debut planned for Cannes, there will hopefully be more shots and footage leaking out from The Neon Demon in the coming weeks. Part of me wants to learn absolutely everything there is to know about this bizarre-sounding, probably fantastic feature, and another part wants to go in knowing only a little bit about its horror-influenced premise. To wit: Fanning stars as a young model on the up and up, who finds herself targeted by other models who want what she wants. Elizabeth of Bathory-style bloodbaths, cannibalism, and “vicious beauty,” to use Refn’s term, all play into the plot.
Hearing that, can you blame me for being pumped? Refn is one of the most insatiable auteurs out there today, and he’s working with one of the best young actresses in the business right now on a movie that infuses the cutthroat world of modelling with a sanguinary twist. And in case you somehow weren’t sold already, Keanu Reeves, Jena Malone, Christina Hendricks, Desmond Harrington, Jamie Clayton, Abbey Lee and Alessandro Nivola all also have roles, making this the most stacked cast Refn has ever had at his disposal.
The Neon Demon can’t get here soon enough. It debuts at Cannes and will hit theaters later in the year before bowing on Amazon.