Director Nicolas Winding Refn enjoys putting Ryan Gosling through the wringer. Of course, you knew that already if you caught the duo’s emotionally battering ‘Drive,’ one of the finest films of 2011. They’re reuniting as we speak on a film titled ‘Only God Forgives,’ and based on these early images, Gosling’s going to take another beating, both physically and, we’re assuming, mentally.

Refn’s film sounds about as different from ‘Drive’ as a movie could possibly get, with the sun-dappled streets of Los Angeles being traded for the Thai-boxing circuit in Bangkok. The film’s official plot synopsis has been shared, and we have it below:

Julian (Gosling) lives in exile in Bangkok where he runs a Thai boxing club as a front for the family’s drugs smuggling operation. When Julian’s brother Billy is killed, their mother, Jenna (Kristen Scott Thomas), arrives in the city. She wants revenge and forces Julian to find the killer. Julian’s contacts in the criminal underworld lead him directly to The Angel of Vengeance, a retired police officer who knows everything and who is both Judge and Punisher. Jenna demands that Julian kill The Angel of Vengeance, an act that will cost him dearly.

That’s not all, though. The first behind-the-scenes images showing a beaten and bloodied Gosling were posted to The Film Stage, while AICN has a rundown of three minutes of footage shown during a secret Cannes event. The scene described is a brutal fight sequence that makes the elevator scene in ‘Drive’ sound tame by comparison.

Refn and Gosling appear to be establishing themselves as a modern Scorsese/De Niro, and we can only hope that they creativity fuels a bleak partnership that lasts for a decade. ‘Only God Forgives’ is expected in theaters later this year. What do you think?


Images courtesy of FilmDistrict