Ryan Gosling Calls Upcoming Project 'Only God Forgives' The "Strangest Thing" He’s Ever Read

by Jeff Otto
September 26, 2011 10:40 AM
19 Comments
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Says Director Ruben Fleischer Holds His Own Amongst the Massive Ensemble of 'Gangster Squad'


To say Ryan Gosling’s star is on the rise would be a tremendous understatement at this point. After critically acclaimed roles in 2007’s “Lars and the Real Girl” and last year’s “Blue Valentine,” 2011 feels like the year of Gosling. Following the commercial hit “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” Gosling is the star of this year’s most buzzed-about movie, Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” and will be returning to theaters once again October 7th as the lead in George Clooney’s political drama, “The Ides of March.”

Next up for Gosling is the intriguing “Gangster Squad” from “Zombieland” director Ruben Fleischer, an epic tale of the 1950’s battle between LAPD and the mob, which is currently shooting in LA (Fleischer's posting set pics to his personal website if you want to check them out). After that, Gosling will re-team with “Drive’s” Refn for “Only God Forgives.”

During a press day chat for 'Ides,' Gosling spoke briefly about the two upcoming projects.

“‘Gangster Squad’ is a 1950’s gangster picture,” says Gosling. “It’s got a great cast. Ruben [Fleischer]’s directing and Sean Penn plays Mickey Cohen. Josh Brolin is the lead and Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Robert Patrick, Emma Stone, Michael Pena. Nick Nolte just signed on. A lot of great actors.”

After “Zombieland” and “30 Seconds or Less,” Fleischer seems like an unlikely choice to direct “Gangster Squad.” “It’s very, very different tonally [from his other films] and I think he’s doing a great job so far,” Gosling tells press. “He’s great. What an undertaking. Period, a gangster picture. There’s all these actors and everyone comes with their own set of needs. He’s handling it really well.”

As for his part as Sgt. Jerry Wooters, one of the cops aiming to take down Penn’s Mob Boss Mickey Cohen, Gosling admits that is a bit of a work in progress. “I’m still trying to figure that out. I’m on it right now and it’s a mystery to me but I’m working on it.”

After 'Squad,' Gosling will head to Thailand for a reunion with Refn in “Only God Forgives.” “We start in January. We’re shooting chronologically. We’ll be in Thailand for five months.” "Only God Forgives" also co-stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, and Yaya Ying, according to the latest production weekly we've seen.

The actor is already in training for the role, which he says requires a lot of prep. “[I’m doing] Muay Thai [training],” Gosling says with a certain bit of exasperation. “It’s been painful. I like it a lot.”

We haven't heard much on “Only God Forgives,” aside that it’s about a British gangster who seeks vengeance on a Thai ex-cop, though some new details have emerged from a production synopsis going around. Gosling doesn’t offer a whole lot of additional clarification other than telling press, “It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever read and it’s only going to get stranger.”

The current synopsis we've seen elaborates a bit, though we tend to agree with Gosling's "strange" assessment so far. This definitely keeps the air of mystery around the story intact, but it sounds like and even more interesting follow up from the dynamic duo of Refn and Gosling.

"Julian lives in exile in Bangkok where he runs a Thai boxing club as a front for the family's drugs smuggling operation. When Julian's brother Billy is killed their mother, Jenna, arrives in the city. She wants revenge and forces Julian to find the killer. Julian's contacts in the criminal underworld lead him directly to The Angel of Vengeance, a retired police officer who knows everything and who is both Judge and Punisher. Jenna demands that Julian kill The Angel of Vengeance, an act that will cost him dearly."

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19 Comments

  • Anthony corrie | January 29, 2013 8:36 AMReply

    Drive made 80 million with a 15 million bugdet so define tanked

  • Kevin Lea Davies | January 12, 2012 11:48 AMReply

    anyone know any information about casting for Only God Forgives.

    I happen to live in Bangkok full time, around the time of primary shooting, and have done backgrounds and lead ins for several other movies filmed in BKK. Any info would help. I can't find any info about production online!

    I'd love to be a part of this.

  • Lisa | October 27, 2011 1:00 AMReply

    Was looking forward to seeing "A PLACE BEYOND THE PINES" until I heard they had cast Eva Mendes. This automatically tells me their unsure of it's value.

  • TimParker | September 27, 2011 12:59 PMReply

    Anybody know if Place Beyond the Pines with Derek Cianfrance is still happening? I was thinking they had already begun production because there were set photos but I can't imagine they finished all of Gosling's scenes before Gangster Squad started. Or maybe that was longer ago than I thought...
    I guess just curious why it wasn't mentioned and I'm hoping it's still happening because it seemed awesome

  • buntyhoven | September 27, 2011 2:18 AMReply

    I can't imagine they'll keep Gosling's character British. Seems like the plot doesn't require it at all - rather they made him British to fit Luke Evans in the early casting.

  • redcup | September 27, 2011 1:30 AMReply

    Pines wrapped yesterday.

    http://twitter.com/#!/jamiepatricof/status/118460903229358080

  • Anne | September 27, 2011 1:20 AMReply

    Please god let them re-think this. Gosling playing English. That seems so wrong somehow. I love him in everything pretty much but i just cannot imagine him with an English accent. Very bizarre.

  • Kevin Jagernauth | September 27, 2011 1:00 AMReply

    'Pines' is indeed still happening and I think it wrapped at the end of August.

  • Starway2001 | September 26, 2011 12:51 PMReply

    Refn will certainly be a favorite amongst actors and some studios. But I think it's pretty safe to assume that he won't get anything greenlit that's above $75-85M. And that's being generous. Forget Warner's ponying up for the $200M or so required for Logan's Run.

  • Kathleen Walsh | September 26, 2011 12:04 PMReply

    Editor here. I erroneously included that Mulligan/Evans info from an old production weekly. Thanks for the heads up all, I have fixed the post. I guess we've learned 2 things here: 1- Editors DO look at the posts and 2- Editors are fallible too. Yay hugz.

  • buntyhoven | September 26, 2011 11:55 AMReply

    Firstly, wasn't Luke Evans essentially replaced by Gosling on this film? Or has he been downgraded to a supporting role?

    But to all the commenters - unless Refn screws up royally on Only God Forgives, he'll still be in demand from studios. Forget Drive's box office - it's made a good impression on people, and I'm sure actors are taking note and marking Refn as one to work with.

  • Josh | September 26, 2011 11:48 AMReply

    Almost positive there's never been any press saying Carey Mulligan is a part of 'Only God Forgives' (she's supposedly attached to 'I Walk With the Dead'). Also, Ryan Gosling was a replacement for Luke Evans. So....next time run this past an editor? Or at least double-check your facts?

  • joey2joie | September 26, 2011 11:25 AMReply

    I can only assume Kristin Scott Thomas is playing the Jenna, the Lady Macbeth matriarch in "Only God Forgives." I hope she plays it with no-nonsense sinister relish like Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom. Can't wait, hopefully a Cannes contender next year.

  • Starway2001 | September 26, 2011 11:20 AMReply

    Now that "Drive" has tanked at the box office and they have both decided to make something even less mainstream next, well, I think they both can kiss "Logan's Run" goodbye (let alone any dreams of doing "Wonder Woman" with Kendricks).

  • Jean | September 26, 2011 11:20 AMReply

    @RJ Why do you read The Playlist? Maybe your tastes are better suited for Movieline.

    Is Carey Mulligan in this or did you get your wires crossed?

  • RJ | September 26, 2011 11:06 AMReply

    Following the commercial hit “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” Gosling is the star of this year’s most buzzed-about movie, Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” and will be returning to theaters once again October 7th as the lead in George Clooney’s political drama, “The Ides of March.”

    I know you guys love Gosling, but sorry - "Crazy Stupid Love" was not exactly a commercial hit. $83 million domestic for a summer Steve Carrell comedy? Not a flop but certainly not a big hit.

    And the years most buzzed about movie? Only on this site and others like. Theatrically, Drive came and went without much "buzz" or notice from the general public. And yes, it's the public that matters, not a couple blogs who have nothing better to do than salivate over anything Refn or Gosling say.

  • Ryan | September 26, 2011 10:56 AMReply

    Yea, if Carey Mulligan is in the movie...then why is that not your headline?

  • Alex | September 26, 2011 10:53 AMReply

    And by this I mean Only God Forgives.

  • Alex | September 26, 2011 10:52 AMReply

    Wait... Mulligan is in this too?

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