The Playlist

Marrakech Interview: Nicolas Winding Refn On Disliking Vikings, Realism & What He Learned From 'Fear X'

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • December 9, 2013 2:12 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
It’s telling, and maybe also a little paradoxical, that of the huge array of Nordic talent assembled onstage at the Scandinavian tribute last week at the Marrakech Film Festival, the honor itself was accepted (on the delegation’s behalf) by Nicolas Winding Refn. Telling, because it shows just how sky-high the director’s profile is, despite, or maybe because of, the mixed reaction to this year’s “Only God Forgives,” the follow-up to his Cannes-busting “Drive.” A little paradoxical, because it really feels that Refn can be less and less associated with the region of his birth these days: his last truly Danish film was 2005’s “Pusher 3” and his ongoing association with Ryan Gosling, along with his interest in non-European settings and cultures, makes him feel more international-with-maybe-an-independent-American-edge than anything else.

Interview: Keanu Reeves Talks Plot & Status Of 'Bill & Ted 3,' What Happened To Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Jekyll' & More

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • October 29, 2013 2:47 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
We were lucky enough to speak to Keanu Reeves earlier today about his directorial debut, the underground fight saga "Man of Tai Chi." We'll have more from our interview with Reeves in the days ahead (including what it was like transitioning from "Man of Tai Chi" to "47 Ronin") but we wanted to first share with you an update about three seemingly endlessly gestating projects for the actor: the third "Bill & Ted" movie, the sci-fi romance "Passengers" (which recently cast its leading lady) and what happened with "Jekyll," a film that at one time he was going to make with Nicolas Winding Refn.

Watch: An Episode Of 'Agatha Christie's Marple' Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
  • |
  • August 9, 2013 1:55 PM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
Nicolas Winding Refn has a bit of a secret lurking on his directorial CV. After the disaster of his "Fear X," and wrapping up his "Pusher" trilogy, but before he came back into critical favor thanks to "Bronson" and "Valhalla Rising" (and long before his stylish crime duo of "Drive" and "Only God Forgives"), Winding Refn was broke and needed a quick gig. And so, he took the first thing he was offered: in this case, an episode of the long-running UK mysteries "Agatha Christie's Marple."

Nicolas Winding Refn Talks 'Barbarella' & Reveals How Alejandro Jodorowsky Convinced Him To Leave 'Logan's Run'

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • June 24, 2013 12:02 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Few filmmakers have quite the crowded dance card that Nicolas Winding Refn boasts. Speaking to The Playlist on the eve of the North American premiere for “Only God Forgives,” Refn seems deeply pleased by having attached himself to so many projects, each one sounding more exciting than the last (particularly the mooted “Valhalla Rising” continuation). However, Refn’s next project is a detour into television, with the series “Barbarella,” which he describes, in typical Refn fashion, as “the ultimate fetish.”

Exclusive: Nicolas Winding Refn Says He's Making A 'Valhalla Rising' Sequel Set In Tokyo

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • June 21, 2013 10:56 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
When we last sat down to talk to Nicolas Winding Refn, he spoke about a project he was developing that would be set in Tokyo. He mentioned a fondness for the Yakuza, suggesting that this film would find him re-visiting a crime underworld similar to that in “Only God Forgives” and “Drive.” But no one could have guessed it would be… a sequel to “Valhalla Rising”?

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
Says Director Ruben Fleischer Holds His Own Amongst the Massive Ensemble of 'Gangster Squad'

The Road To 'Drive': The Films Of Nicolas Winding Refn

  • By Erik McClanahan
  • |
  • September 20, 2011 4:56 AM
  • |
  • 13 Comments
After months of build-up, moviegoers finally got a look at "Drive," the much-acclaimed crime thriller by Nicolas Winding Refn, this weekend. With a C- Cinemascore (whatever that's worth), it's clearly a divisive picture, but there's been enough passion spent on the film, here and elsewhere, to suggest that plenty of discerning cinephiles have fallen for it in the way that several Playlist staffers have in recent weeks. And if you were one of them, Refn might have been a new face for you; the director has been active for fifteen years now, but only really started to come to attention of U.S. film fans in the last few years (or arguably, months), thanks to a pair of English-language pictures.

Nicolas Winding Refn Says 'Dying Of The Light' Fell Apart Because Harrison Ford Didn't Want To Die

  • By Cory Everett
  • |
  • September 17, 2011 4:16 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
We realize that you may be suffering from a little Nicolas Winding Refn fatigue from all the coverage we've been doing on the director and his fantastic new film, "Drive," but the filmmaker and star Ryan Gosling have been on a major press tour for the film pretty much since its Cannes debut. One of the hopefully final stops for the Danish director was at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) a few nights ago for a sneak preview of his latest, and we were on hand for the Q&A. Refn kept the Brooklyn audience rapt in attention as he told a few now-familiar tales about how the film came together and his first prescription drug-fueled meeting with Gosling. He also shared a little more info on a now-dead project called "The Dying of the Light" by "Taxi Driver" scribe Paul Schrader. The film centered on a C.I.A. agent who starts to become afflicted with blindness and Harrison Ford was attached to the lead.

Albert Brooks Says He Knows His 'Drive' Character's Entire Backstory

  • By Christopher Bell
  • |
  • September 16, 2011 7:54 AM
  • |
  • 6 Comments
Filmmaker/Actor Says His Next Directorial Effort Will Be "Odd And Different"You should already know about Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive." We haven't been the only ones pumping the picture, and for good reason -- it's one of the slickest, coolest pictures of the year; a tight genre picture with substance and style. Following an unnamed Hollywood stunt actor simply referred to in the credits as 'The Driver' (Ryan Gosling), the story is a minimalistic fairy-tale/noir mash-up involving Jewish gangsters and a family in danger. The attractive cast also includes Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, Albert Brooks, and Christina Hendricks.

Nicolas Winding Refn Says He Didn't Know About 'Die Hard 5' Shortlist, But Likely Would Have Said No

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • September 16, 2011 4:48 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
'Drive' Filmmaker Talks 'Wonder Woman,' 'Logan's Run' And Turning Down BlockbustersYes, it's practically "Drive" week at The Playlist this week, sue us. The film opens in wide release this weekend (2,886 screens) and we sat down with most of the cast including star Ryan Gosling (he wants to direct), comedian-turned-villain Albert Brooks (he wants to be in "Logan's Run") and the director, Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn (he might make a horror film with Carey Mulligan) -- what are we supposed to do, bury our content? Sorry, guys.

Email Updates

Recent Comments