Nicolas Winding Refn is an expert at being coy. When it was announced last week that he was working with Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (“Casino Royale,” “Quantum Of Solace,” “Skyfall,” “Spectre“) on an Asia-set action thriller, the general assumption was that it was his long-brewing “The Avenging Silence.” It’s safe to say that it is, but when asked directly by Deadline if it was that project, Refn of course did a little dance around completely confirming it.
“Well, I think it may very well be. But it’s always fun to suddenly change things around,” he said.
Okay, I’m just going to go ahead and assume the Purvis/Wade project is “The Avenging Silence,” and hearing Refn describe the movie, it sounds like it’s going to be his most ambitious effort, one that brings his unique visual style and aesthetic onto his biggest canvas yet.
“I’ve had this idea to do a spy movie for a number of years and brought Robert and Neal in when we were working on ‘Barbarella.’ We have a really groovy relationship and have been working under secrecy — like real spy stuff. I was in Japan recently to figure out how practically I would make the film. I thought it would be fun to do a big extravagant action film; maybe a studio thing with a lot of stuff happening,” the director said. “I’m by no means opposed to doing a studio movie, I think it could be great fun. Sometimes you can invent it yourself and find a way to make it work within the system. But to work in that system takes a certain kind of caliber and approach and I’m very interested in doing it in South East Asia because it’s foreign in terms of being a westerner. It would be funky to do it in Japan.”
So, Refn is putting together a big idea to bring to the major studios with “The Avenging Silence”? Sounds like it, and hopefully he get the pieces together to make it happen. But as he says above, his ideas are constantly evolving. We’ll see how this shakes out.
Next up is “The Neon Demon” which will arrive this year via Amazon.