Oh Nicolas Winding Refn, you’re making quite the name for yourself aren’t you? After splashing down in North American and creating huge waves with his 2011 film Drive, the Danish director shows no signs of slowing down.
Only God Forgives has a lot of people intrigued, not only because Ryan Gosling has said that it’s the strangest script he’s ever read, but it’s also a darker and more violent film than Drive and apparently, it’s also very different and far bolder than anything the director has done in the past.
In the film, Ryan Gosling will take on the role of Julian, the owner of a Thai boxing club that’s a front for the family’s drugs smuggling operation. Things get complicated when his brother murders a prostitue and from there, the whole thing spirals into a violent and dark tale of revenge, murder and crime.
Currently shooting in Bangkok, Thailand, Refn spoke about how much he loves working there.
“I love this city. Sometimes it feels like the sets of ‘Blade Runner,’ ” he said. “I could eat Thai every day, buy lots of toys, robots, movie posters. Yesterday I found two original posters for…’Godzilla.’ Sublime.”
“I hate the idea that the film is over before we started shooting,” Refn said. “I spent whole nights finding places in Bangkok. Especially in Chinatown, where most of the film unfolds. We saw dozens of nightclubs, each more kitsch than each other, the walls covered with carved paneling, thick velvet, with flowers in colored plastic gueulardes, erotic statues or classic gold…they give me ideas for scenes. It’s like the neon lights in the streets, forming strange perspectives. No one realizes that once on site. Then I decide, and always by instinct.”
His other film is a horror/sex thriller called I Walk With The Dead that will re-unite him with his Drive star Carey Mulligan. Not much is known about the project but Refn does say that they may shoot in Tokyo.
“We signed a deal with [producers] Gaumont and, for distribution, Wild Bunch,” the director said. “In essence, we make two films for the price of one. The budget for ‘Only God Forgives’ is $3.5 million. We exceed [that] perhaps a bit, but really not much. The second film is a horror movie…’I Walk With the Dead.’ We’ll turn to Los Angeles or Tokyo.”
Refn is known for editing as he shoots, which means that Only God Forgives can’t be too far off. After Drive, I seriously can’t wait to see what the incredibly talented director has in store for us next. Drive was one of my favorite films of 2011 and to see Refn teaming up with Gosling again is very exciting. While no release date as been set for the film as of yet, we’ll keep you updated when we know more.