Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn hasn’t gone remotely mainstream yet, though there have been overtures and he’s certainly flirted with Hollywood. “Drive” may have starred Ryan Gosling, but it was either loved or hated by audiences and did poorly at the box-office (it’s a terrific movie that puzzled mainstream theatergoers). He followed that up with an even more enigmatic and arty film, “Only God Forgives,” and it’s possibly the strangest movie Ryan Gosling will ever star in.
And studios have come calling ever since “Bronson” landed him on the map. Refn almost made an adaptation of “Logan’s Run” for WB, but eventually bailed; he was attached to “The Equalizer” for a minute, but that was clearly not his bag; and even before that he almost directed Harrison Ford and Channing Tatum in the Paul Schrader-written “The Dying of The Light” (which Schrader eventually made this year with Nicolas Cage; it’s coming out next year).
But studios keep trying to harness his wild, mad man talents. Sony is next, they’ve convinced him to go into early talks to direct a buzzed-about horror called ‘”The Bringing.” Based on a spec script by Brandon and Phillip Murphy gaining traction in Hollywood, the movie’s catalyst, according to Deadline is “a widely circulated video of a young woman who displayed erratic behavior in an elevator at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, the place where such killers as Richard Ramirez called home at one time or other, and where numerous suicides have occurred. The woman, Elisa Lam, was found dead in the water tanks at the roof of the hotel. The script has nothing really to do with that that tragedy but it created a germ of an idea focusing on a man investigating a death at the hotel, and the nightmare he stumbles into.”
It could be a modern-day “The Shining” if it works out and that type of film by Refn would be amazing. Though will a studio actually go for it? We’ll see. He’s parted with them several times already over clashing visions, and there’s no word on some of the other projects Refn is developing including his potentially Tokyo-bound horror/possibly sex-thriller with Carey Mulligan.
6.13.14 Update: Well, sounds like our posit was right and this didn’t turn out. It sounds like Refn’s already dropped out as talks and negotiations stalled. Yeah, like we figured, Refn’s brand of cinema doesn’t really work with what major studios are looking to do (and thank god for it).