Ah yes, and the greatest cinematic bromance of this generation continues. After falling in love with one another whilst filming Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling have taken their simpatico onto Only God Forgives—which will premiere at Cannes this week. The actor turned actor/director Gosling and the filmmaker known for his violently stylish and visceral films are a match made in a film fantasy world, and after much talk about Refn’s Logan’s Run remake, it was a shame to hear back in October that Gosling would be dropping out the picture.
Originally set to work with Refn on the project, he most likely exited the picture out due to scheduling conflicts with his own directorial debut, the surrealistic How to Catch a Monster
. But now, Refn has officially confirmed
that the film is in fact "on hold"—I guess there really is no replacing his true Gos. But in the meantime, after Only God Forgives
punches into theaters, the Danish director will begin work on his TV adaptation of Barbarella
, sans Gosling.
However, in a conversation with Screen Daily, Refn revealed that the two are eying to make a comedy together. I mean come on, doesn’t the thought of that just send your heat aflutter? And although big laughs would be a new frontier for Refn, I have full faith that he’s truly capable of any genre and I’m sure it would be dark and bizarre no matter what. Obviously Gosling knows how to ham it up for the laughs and it would be interesting to see the two of them collaborate one something where Gos got to play someone a little less stoic and brooding.
Last year, the two sat down with Little White Lies
for their Drive
issue to discuss everything from their instant kismet to what the future has in store, but when asked the ultimate question: "What do you love about movies?" here’s what they each had to say.
Refn: Um…I think the best way for me to answer that is to say I can’t answer that because…It’s easier for me to answer what I don’t like about movies. And for me to answer that is just to say…Nothing.
Gosling: Well, I think, not to keep harping on the same note, I think…Well, for instance when I was in the fourth grade, maybe even… I forget what year, but it was sometime in junior school that I first saw First Blood and it kinda put me under a spell. I believed I was Rambo, and I filled my Fisher-Price Houdini Kit up with steak knives and took it into school and tried throwing them at some of the kids during recess. I didn’t hurt anybody, thank god, and I learned my lesson, you know, I’m sorry that I did it… But films have such a powerful affect on me, they always have done. I’ve tried to control that but I don’t think I’ve ever really managed to. But I don’t think I’m alone in recognising that.
For Danish filmmaker, Nicolas Winding Refn, his directorial career has seen its fair share of punches. As someone who built a name for himself on intense, small-budget foreign features, directing Hollywood blockbusters never really seemed like his end game. But with the success of last year’s Drive and the hype surrounding he and Gosling’s latest collaboration Only God Forgives, we’re not surprised that he’s become a hot commodity in Hollywood, tapped to helm bigger-budget thrillers with a host of A-list talent.
In December, Collider reported that Refn was slated to direct the Denzel Washington thriller, The Equalizer—an adaptation of the 1980s crime series, centered on Robert McCall, a former covert operations officer who dedicated his life to helping people in trouble—marking the Danish director’s first foray into the big Hollywood system. But the problem there, is that Refn is someone with such a specific vision and auteurist qualities that adapting to a more regimented or structured environment might prove oppressive. But who knows, everyone has to move up at some point.
However, today Collider reported that although Sony was close to closing the deal with Refn, it appears to have fallen apart at the last minute due to “unknown reasons.” With Only God Forgives on the horizon, Logan’s Run in the works (sans Gosling), and his rumored Barbarella TV adaptation, perhaps Refn had no interest in spreading himself too thin? Either way, the studio is going forth with The Equalizer with or without Refn’s finesse for crime drama.