Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn has been scant with the details of his latest film Only God Forgives, only referring to it as a western set in Thailand. Now, The Playlist has translated Liberation‘s interview with the director, getting what they could from the director about the plot and what happened with Luke Evans dropping out of the movie to be replaced by Ryan Gosling.
” The story centers on Julian (Gosling), who has lived in exile in Bangkok after killing a cop ten year ago. With his brother, he runs a Thai boxing club as a front for the family’s drugs smuggling operation run by his Florida based Mom, Jenna (Kristin Scott Thomas). However, his brother gets into hot water when he murders a prostitute, and the cops call on retired cop Chang — aka The Angel Vengeance — to weigh in on the matter. And things get considerably sticky and bloody from there.”
Gosling says it’s the strangest thing he’s ever read, and it sounds like a crazy premise. They’re shooting in Thailand, where Refn is apparently having a blast. He says:
“I love this city. Sometimes it feels like the sets of ‘Blade Runner,’ ” he said. “I could eat Thai every day, buy lots of toys, robots, movie posters. Yesterday I found two original posters for…’Godzilla.’ Sublime.”
When asked about Luke Evans dropping out of the film, he had the following to say:
“From the beginning, I had the idea of a thriller produced as a western, all in the Far East, and with a modern cowboy hero. I was lucky, Ryan Gosling has accepted the role when Luke Evans withdrew. He preferred to star Peter Jackson‘s ‘The Hobbit‘…Luke Evans’ agent has probably done him a great service.”
He probably has, especially when Gosling was available to do it for him. He also goes on to talk about shooting chronologically and editing the day he shoots so he has a rough cut at the end of shooting. Refn says the film has a $3.5 million budget, but it goes further in Thailand.
He also talks about his next film, the horror/sex thriller I Walk With the Dead which will star Drive‘s Carey Mulligan. In the meantime, Only God Forgives should wrap up in June, and critics might see the film at this fall’s Venice Film Festival if it’s done in time.