The second trailer for Nicolas Winding-Refn’s Only God Forgives dropped today, just hours after the film made the Cannes competition roster. The Bangkok-set crime pic stars Ryan Gosling as the scion of a drug-smuggling family who runs a Thai boxing club and is sent on a quest for vengeance …
EXCLUSIVE: Black List alumni Matt Cook has come on board to adapt Button Man: The Killing Game for DreamWorks. The scribe joined the film last month. Previously, Insomnia scribe Hilary Seitz and Paranoia co-screenwriter Barry Levy had worked on the adaptation of the ultra-violent graphic novel created by John Wagner and Arthur Ranson. Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn is helming Button Man. The story centers on Harry Exton, a hired gun who decides to abandon the death match that gambling millionaires have set up to amuse themselves. In the process of opting out, he finds he might not only have to kill his fellow contestants but also the guys pulling the strings. The film is produced by Roger Kass, Josh Braun, Mark Sourian and Michael De Luca.
BREAKING: Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has been selected to direct The Equalizer for Sony Pictures and Escape Artists. The film, loosely based on the 1980s TV series, has been a hot ticket for directors since Denzel Washington agreed to play the title role. A number of directors had been considered along the way. Negotiations toward a deal will begin immediately with Refn.
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney.
Danish producer Lene Børglum and her producing partner Nicolas Winding Refn plan to shoot Trafficker, an Australian movie set in the Vietnamese-run drug world, in Oz next year. The film will mark the feature directing debut of English cinematographer Larry Smith, who shot three of Refn’s films — thriller Fear X, Bronson which starred Tom Hardy as a notorious English criminal, and his latest Only God Forgives, a crime thriller set in Bangkok, which features Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas. The script is by Singaporean Ken Kwek, who wrote The Blue Mansion, a 2009 murder mystery directed by Glen Goei, about a wealthy Asian tycoon who dies suddenly, which Smith photographed.
After bringing Hannibal to the small screen with an upcoming NBC series, Gaumont International Television and producer Martha De Laurentiis are looking to do the same for another iconic character, Barbarella. GIT, the U.S.-based production and distribution arm of European feature studio Gaumont, is teaming with De Laurentiis and Drive director Nicolas Refn for a TV series that will be based on the character created by Jean-Claude Forest in a graphic novel and made famous in the 1968 sci-fi movie staring Jane Fonda as a sexpot tasked with finding and stopping the evil weapons inventor. Refn will direct and executive produce the series alongside De Laurentiis, whose late husband Dino produced the 1968 movie. Co-executive producers are Jean-Claude Forest’s son Julien Forest and Hollywood Comics principal Jean-Marc Lofficier.
EXCLUSIVE: Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn is in talks with DreamWorks to direct Button Man, an adaptation of the graphic novel Button Man: The Killing Game by John Wagner and Arthur Ranson. Wagner created Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog. The action revolves around Harry Exton, a hired gun who’s offered a fortune to take part in a game organized by bored millionaires that sets trained killers against one another in a fight to the death. The fat cats bet on the proceedings, and when Exton gets disgusted and opts out, his only exit strategy might be to off the millionaires funding the competition. The film is produced by Roger Kass, Josh Braun and Michael De Luca.
This is the second deal for Tom Quinn and Jason Janego’s Radius after they acquired the Sundance comedy Bachelorette. Here they will release the remake of Pusher, the 1996 debut film by Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn. The film’s about a London drug pusher grows increasingly desperate over the course of a week after a botched deal leaves him with a large debt to a ruthless drug lord.
New York, NY, February 9, 2012 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that its new label, Radius-TWC, has acquired from Gaumont the U.S. and Caribbean basin distribution rights to PUSHER, an English-language remake of the 1996 cult hit directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (DRIVE) and written by Refn and Jens Dahl. Refn was closely involved in the production of the remake, which is directed by award-winning young filmmaker Luis Prieto (BAMBOLEHO) and written by Matthew Read. PUSHER is produced by Rupert Preston for Vertigo Films, and by Christopher Simon and Felix Vossen for Embargo Films. Nicolas Winding Refn is the executive producer. The announcement was made by Radius-TWC Co-Presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego.
EXCLUSIVE: After a long search process, 20th Century Fox and Bruce Willis have just chosen John Moore to direct Die Hard 5. The film will shoot in Russia, and the hope is to make it before Willis moves on to shoot a Red sequel for Summit Entertainment. In fact, Willis has just begun going through the same director search with Summit on a sequel to the 2010 hit Red. Robert Schwentke is busy helming Universal’s R.I.P.D. with Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds. They’ve just begun casting the dragnet for directors on that film. Names like Breck Eisner are being floated, but other shooters are being considered.
As for Die Hard 5, Moore is in final negotiations and was in the running through the entire search as Fox tried to find a filmmaker that pleased Willis and the studio execs that have to shoot this movie in Russia and bring it in on a budget and a tight schedule. Fox has been looking for a new director since Noam Murro left the picture after he got the job helming 300: Battle Of Artemisia for Warner Bros. The studio started with a wish list of directors to helm the script by Skip Woods that included Joe Cornish (who directed Attack the Block), Fast Five helmer Justin Lin, Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn, and Moore. More recently, I’d heard Fox had conversations with helmers that included Gary Fleder, Paul McGuigan and 1408 helmer Mikael Hafstrom.
20th Century Fox is turning up the heat on Die Hard 5, even though its attached director, Noam Murro, left the picture after he got the job helming 300: Battle Of Artemisia for Warner Bros. I’m told that the studio has come up with a short list of directors who’ll meet to potentially helm the film scripted by Skip Woods. They are: Joe Cornish (who directed Attack the Block), Fast Five helmer Justin Lin, Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn and Max Payne helmer John Moore. The film brings the always-in-the-wrong-place cop John McClane to Russia. Bruce Willis is ready to reprise his signature role as early as this fall.
The surprise on the list is Cornish. While his feature directorial debut Attack the Block had a budget probably less than the catering bill on last weekend’s other alien invasion film opener Cowboys & Aliens, the movie has become a critical darling as it opened to $130,000 in eight theaters (it has grossed $4.3 million overseas). It would be a big jump to Die Hard 5, but remember the studio had attached Murro, whose debut was the 2008 character comedy Smart People.
Lin is hot off Fast Five, and is expected to do another The Fast and the Furious installment and is attached to the package to finish The Terminator franchise that was acquired by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.
Refn has much momentum for Drive, the drama that played Cannes and opens in September. Refn reteamed with Ryan Gosling for Only God Forgives, another action film that shoots late summer in Thailand, and which FilmDistrict acquired for U.S. distribution late last month. Refn is also booked to remake Logan’s Run with Gosling. Then there is Moore, the Irish helmer who has directed all of his features – Max Payne, The Omen, Flight of the Phoenix and Behind Enemy Lines — for Fox. A web report indicated that Moore already had the job, but I’m told that the filmmaker meetings haven’t started yet, so that might be jumping the gun.
Just in time for Comic-Con, FilmDistrict has unveiled a red band trailer for Drive, the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed drama that stars Ryan Gosling, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman and Carey Mulligan. Is it me, or does Gosling seem very much like Steve McQueen-esque in one of those 70s movies and Brooks …