By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist September 12, 2011 at 11:55AM
'Drive' Director Also Talks Action Flick 'Only God Forgives,' An Abandoned Heist Pic & An Albert Brooks-Penned Comedy
If you've read any kind of movie blog in the last six months you're likely to see that almost everyone is enamored with Nicolas Winding Refn's beautiful, thrilling crime picture "Drive," which will undoubtedly nestle near the top of many year-end lists (including ours), when the time comes. It might feel like you've been hearing about the film for years now, seeing as the reviews have been piling in since it bowed at Cannes way back in May, but the film finally hits theaters on Friday, and you'll be able to check out all the fuss for yourself.
As such, the cast and crew of the film took to the junket circuit in New York today to promote the film, and we got to speak to director Winding Refn, among others, about the project. The full interview is coming in the next few days, but he spilled a handful of details about some of his upcoming projects which we thought you might want to know about tout suite.
First up, and shooting any day now, is the Bangkok-set "Only God Forgives," which will see Winding Refn work again with Ryan Gosling (with whom the director is also set to work on the blockbuster tentpole remake of "Logan's Run"). The director describes it as "an action movie," but it seems like one that may revolve around issues of religion and faith, at least to some degree; "It's about a Thai police lieutenant who believes he's God, and a gangster (Gosling) looking for a religion to believe in." Kristin Scott-Thomas is also on board, and Thai actors Vithaya Pansringarm and Yaya Ying. "Drive" distributors FilmDistrict will release the film next year.
Gosling isn't the only member of the "Drive" cast that the director wants to reunite with, however. It was revealed a week ago that Winding Refn had cast Carey Mulligan as the lead in his long-in-the-works film "I Walk With The Dead," which he confirmed with us, but all that was otherwise known is that the film was meant to be full of sex, and that it might be set in Miami. As ever, Winding Refn didn't give an easy answer, but when we asked if it was another noir like "Drive," he denied it and gave a tease of the genre he might want to fit it in. "I think, all my life I wanted to make a horror movie." Is that what the film is, then, a horror movie? "I don't know," he said coyly. Even the sex-filled aspect might be up for grabs at this point, as the director told us "I hate sex scenes with a passion. [They're usually] so boring."
Winding Refn and Gosling are also hoping to get the villain in "Drive" -- the great Albert Brooks -- to write a romantic comedy for them, and the helmer confirmed that it's been discussed, and that he's waiting for Brooks to write the film. "Ryan and I have persuaded Albert Brooks to write a comedy for us and we want to do it in New York. We're still waiting for Albert to deliver the script, but he's taking an awfully long fucking time," he joked. "I gave him an idea and we'll have to see if that works for him. If it doesn't, I'll see what he comes up with. But we're very excited, because [Ryan and I] really, really want to make a comedy together with Albert Brooks." Now, we're afraid that Refn shouldn't necessarily hold his breath, as we also spoke to Brooks today -- more on that in the next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the director confirmed that one mooted project definitely won't be happening. Last year, the director was touted to be working with his "Valhalla Rising" star Mads Mikkelsen on a heist movie that would be produced by "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Rango" director Gore Verbinski. However, with so much on his slate, something had to give, and it sounds like there were some behind the scenes issues on the project that caused the director to walk away; "I abandoned that. I just lost interest. Or let me put it like this, a situation caused me to lose interest. That's politely putting it."
Bad news for Mads Mikkelsen, then, but his other projects sound interesting enough that we won't mourn the film too much. We'll have more from Winding Refn later in the week, and you'll be able to see "Drive" in theaters from Friday, September 16th. -- Interview by Gabe Toro