Drive, Once a Neil Marshall and Hugh Jackman Movie, Becomes a Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling Movie
Posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 by Russ Fischer
The last time we heard about the movie Drive, Neil Marshall was talking about it as one of his next projects. Hugh Jackman was to star in the film about a guy who is a stuntman by day and robbery getaway driver by night. But it’s been quite a while since the film was mentioned anywhere, and it seems to have new names attached. Now Nicolas Winding Refn apparently wants to make it, with Ryan Gosling starring. Please allow me to say: oh, hell yes.
Empire spoke to Refn, who said of his next project,
Hopefully next is a movie with Ryan Gosling at a studio in America. It’s called Drive, and it’s about a stuntman by day, a getaway driver by night.
So, yeah, same story, new people.
But wai, what about that Refn movie that Harrison Ford was talking about recently? We speculated that would be the Paul Schrader script The Dying of the Light, and Ford said he hoped to be doing the film in March. That would certainly make it Refn’s next film. Or would have made it his next — anything could have happened. Interesting questions. We’ll dig and get more info. Refn does say Gosling is the lead in Drive, so if Ford were somehow involved he’d be supporting.
Drive is based on the novel of the same name by James Sallis, which is summarized thusly at Amazon:
“I drive. That’s what I do. All I do.” So declares the enigmatic Driver in this masterfully convoluted neo-noir, which ranges from the dive bars and flyblown motels of Los Angeles to seedy strip malls dotting the Arizona desert. A stunt driver for movies, Driver finds more excitement as a wheelman during robberies, but when a heist goes sour, a contract is put on his head and his survival skills burn up the pavement.
In Drive, [Sallis] combines murder, treachery, and payback in a sinister plot resembling 1940s pulp fiction and film noir. Told through a complex, cinematic narrative that weaves back and forth through time and place, the story explores Driver’s near-existential moral foundations while revisiting its root cause: his hardscrabble, troubled childhood.
Refn has a million projects going right now. There’s the finished Valhalla Rising, set for release later this year from IFC. There’s Jeckyll, the Western God Only Forgives and a heist movie with Gore Verbinski, in addition to Drive and The Dying of the Light. Frankly, I’ll take any of those. Better yet, let’s see them all.