Nicolas Winding Refn’s ‘The Neon Demon’ Picked Up by Amazon for 2016 Release
Nicolas Winding Refn’s highly-anticipated follow-up to the divisive Only God Forgives began filming this year in Los Angeles, and while there’s been a considerable amount of interest in The Neon Demon, it’s taken a while for a studio to snatch up the distribution rights. Amazon has stepped forward, adding Refn’s latest to their growing slate of exclusive releases and giving the film a 2016 release date. In addition, we have a new photo from the upcoming film, featured above.
THR reports that Amazon has secured the rights to The Neon Demon, Refn’s upcoming horror film starring Elle Fanning, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks and Jena Malone. “One morning, I woke and realized I was both surrounded and dominated by women,” Refn says of his inspiration, adding, “Strangely, a sudden urge was planted in me to make a horror film about vicious beauty.”
The film centers on Fanning’s character, a young aspiring model who moves to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams, and is instead confronted by beauty-obsessed, envious women who are murderously desperate to claim her beauty and youth at any cost. The Neon Demon is also said to be partially inspired by the tale of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who, as legend has it, killed hundreds of young women and bathed in their blood to preserve her youthful appearance.
Amazon will release the film next summer before making it available exclusively to Amazon Prime members.
The company began acquiring and developing original content not long after Netflix, the latter boasting acclaimed original series like Orange Is the New Black and Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, as well as original films like Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation and the upcoming Pee-wee Herman movie. But Amazon has proven a stiff competitor: in addition to the award-winning series Transparent, the company also has an original series from Woody Allen on the way (his first foray into television), as well as Spike Lee’s bold new film Chi-Raq.
Refn’s The Neon Demon is a great acquisition for Amazon, which is leaning more heavily into arthouse titles.