Nicolas Winding Refn Casts Luke Evans And Kristin Scott-Thomas In Thai Western 'Only God Forgives'

This is great Monday morning film news: Nicolas Winding Refn is really moving forward with plans to shoot a small film between Drive and the Logan's Run remake. That 'small film' is Only God Forgives, which he had planned to make before Drive came up, and in which he has now cast Luke Evans and Kristin Scott-Thomas. More details on the movie are after the break. A hint: it has been called a modern Western, and it involves some Thai-style ass-kicking.

Cineuropa has a piece on the big slate of films that Wild Bunch will have at Cannes, and one film the company will be selling rights to is Only God Forgives, which the article sums up as "a storyline centred on an English criminal who takes refuge in Thailand."

Let's scroll back for a minute — in late 2009 Variety said Only God Forgives is "a Bangkok-set modern Western that sees a Thai police lieutenant and a gangster settling their differences in a Thai-boxing match."

Last year the director was going to make Only God Forgives during the summer, but then he met Ryan Gosling, who convinced him to do Drive. ("I was going to write it, direct and produce it," he said. "And then I met Ryan Gosling in L.A. and he's a very nice guy, and we had dinner. And he wanted to a movie called 'Drive' which I had read and [after talking] we suddenly felt like we could collaborate.")

Then Cliff Martinez, who scored Drive, talked to The Playlist about the possibility of scoring Logan's Run, but said, "I think he's got something in between Drive and Logan's Run." So that would seem to be the Bangkok Western. And it's a film I couldn't be more excited about: the guy who so excellently blended violence and character in the Pusher films and Bronson making a Thai boxing Western? How awesome might that be? Very, I think.

And with respect to Drive, for which I'm dying to see some footage, The Playlist prodded Cliff Martinez with the description of the film as "Blue Velvet plus Purple Rain," which was supplied by Ryan Gosling. He said,

I guess it's pretty far out. I'm so deep into it that it doesn't seem so David Lynchian to me. I remember when I first saw it I thought it was pretty out there and pretty weird. And I guess what happened was that it was going to be a $60 million Universal picture with Hugh Jackman. So that's where it came from. And Nicolas kind of turned it into a part of his personal style. But it is really good, a really, really exciting film. I would say it's unique more than weird. My roommate keeps telling me, "This guy you're working for – he must be insane!" I know on first viewing it strikes people as really weird but I could see it being a really commercial film.