The news comes from a tweet by Variety's Justin Kroll, without any other context, so allow us to speculate. We'd wager that this is being viewed as a big tentpole picture for Warner Bros., and to be fair, for all his popularity, Gosling still isn't quite at the level to open a movie to big numbers. He has mostly been a player in indie movies or prestige projects, and his dalliances with mainstream fare for WB ("Crazy Stupid Love," "Gangster Squad") are essentially ensemble pictures that surround him with bigger names. Simply put, he hasn't led a $100 million movie on his own, and as studios are ever more wary, they might want a more bankable, internationally friendly name. That's one theory.
The other might be that with Gosling gearing up his directorial debut "How To Catch A Monster" next spring, it essentially puts him out of the game for about a year, and WB might be wanting to move a bit faster on the project. Whatever the reason, a Gosling/Refn sci-fi picture isn't happening. And we should stress, the two still appear to be on good terms, so it's not like they had a falling out. "I will give him advice if he wants me to. I told him if he wakes up in sweats at 5am on the morning of shooting to call me,” Refn recently told the Evening Standard, talking about Gosling's first time behind the camera.
As for "Only God Forgives," it looks like it won't be at the Rome Film Festival as one of the surprise pictures as some have speculated. Refn tells French outlet JDD (via The Film Stage) that he will be "fine-tuning" the picture through December. And while an early release date of April 4th for Denmark has been reported, those international bows tend to be malleable, and we wouldn't be surprised if that shifts as Refn and the Weinsteins (who are releasing the picture through their Radius shingle) figure out the best way to position it. A return to Cannes? Berlin maybe? Hopefully, we'll know soon.