Nicolas Winding Refn Teams With ‘James Bond’ Writers for Asian Action Thriller
Nicolas Winding Refn is currently in post-production on his next stylish thriller, The Neon Demon, which hits theaters this year and boasts an incredible cast, including Drive star Christina Hendricks. But the ever-busy director is already lining up his next project, which will team him with two of the writers behind the James Bond franchise and take him back to Asia, the setting of his divisive thriller Only God Forgives.
Deadline reports that Refn is collaborating with Bond scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade on an untitled Asian-set film that will have “both thriller and action elements,” though anyone familiar with Refn’s work won’t find that description shocking. Purvis and Wade have written six Bond films, including recent outings Skyfall and Spectre.
Although details are scarce, this could very well be a project Refn has recently described, known as The Avenging Silence. During a chat with Collider last year, Refn explained the concept for the film, which would explore a character that’s been played by three different actors in his previous films:
Yeah, it’s basically a character that appears in my other movies that will now appear again. Having done The Neon Demon, which was predominantly women protagonists, but the character that Mads [Mikkelsen] plays in Valhalla Rising, Ryan [Gosling] plays him in Drive or Vithaya [Pansringarm] in Only God Forgives, I want to make a new movie with that character.
Slashfilm picked up on another interview with Refn in which he describes this conceptual character as a “mythological creature that has a mysterious past but cannot relate to reality because he’s heightened and pure fetish.”
The film would be shot in Tokyo and is a spy thriller, which would explain the involvement of Purvis and Wade. Refn has yet to confirm if this project is actually The Avenging Silence, though, and the director often has several ideas percolating so it’s possible that he could be planning something else or that this idea has now evolved.
The Neon Demon was recently acquired by Amazon for a theatrical release and exclusive streaming rights. That film hits theaters sometime this year and stars Elle Fanning as a young model who encounters a group of beauty-obsessed women. Also starring Hendricks and Keanu Reeves, Refn has said it is inspired in part by the tale of Countess Elizabeth Bathory.