From Best Director in Cannes to Thai western in Bangkok - Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn has his dance card full, to start with Only God Forgives, the first joint project of Wild Bunch and Gaumont.
When Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s US feature, Drive, won for Best Director a this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, his dance card was already full, with two productions lined up. But the prize has added to his market value.
“It was a great career boost - it placed him in the premier league of cinema - and it will certainly make it easier to conclude the financing of Only God Forgives,” said Danish producer Lene Børglum, co-owner of Refn’s production outfit, Space Rocket Nation.
With a cast including UK actors Kristin Scott Thomas, Luke Evans, Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm and pop star Yaya Ying, the $4.8m (€3.4m) drama be produced with French competitor sales companies Wild Bunch and Gaumont, for the first time joining the same project.
Børglum is currently preparing the Bangkok shoot from Refn’s own screenplay, about Julian, whose Thai boxing club is the front of his family’s drugs smuggling operation. When his brother is murdered, their mother wants revenge, and Julian starts the search for the killer.
Only God Forgives, “which has the tone of a western, although it is not difficult to find elements of Pusher (Refn’s debut) in it,” per the director - will be ready in 2012. Scanbox handles the Danish release, Wild Bunch and Gaumont French distribution and international sales.
From Thai boxing back to the US: Refn is final choice to helm Silver Pictures’ remake of Logan’s Run, UK director Michael Anderson’s 1976 Michael York-Jenny Agutter starrer, which will reunite him with his Drive lead, Ryan Gosling.
In the new crack at William Nolan’s 1967 novel about an idyllic sci-fi future with only one major drawback - life must end at 30 (21 in the novel) - Gosling will play Sandman, who tracks down the people who do not submite to the mandate, until he himself is on the run.