DRIVE Author James Sallis Comments on Sequel, DRIVEN

     June 1, 2012

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Regular readers of our site know that we all loved Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and would jump at the chance to see the director  return with star Ryan Gosling for a possible sequel.  The original centered on an LA stunt driver who moonlighted as a wheelman for criminals.  Now that the second book from Drive author, James Sallis, has been out on the shelves for a couple of months, he’s been kind enough to give some updates on the sequel’s progress.  Driven, the follow-up to the sure-to-be cult classic, is admittedly in the earliest of stages of development.  The good thing is that the plot of the sequel takes place seven years after the original, which would hopefully be more than enough time to get a second film off the ground (the first took six years all told).  Hit the jump to see what Sallis had to say about Gosling, writing the sequel and more on Driven.

There are clearly drive-sequel-driven-book-coverSPOILERS ahead for those who haven’t seen the original film or read the book; there are even MORE SPOILERS regarding the sequel, so turn back now if that bothers you.  In an interview with The Independent (via The Playlist), Sallis commented on both Driven the book and the possible movie.  The sequel picks up seven years after Drive with the Driver having left his old life behind him, become a legitimate businessman and even landed himself a fiancee.  His past quickly comes back to haunt him when he and his fiancee are viciously attacked, resulting in her death.  On Driver’s mentality in the sequel, Sallis says:

“He is trying to suppress the violence – but the sequel shows the process of him accepting that this is who he is. He tries to become a normal person and re-invents himself. After his fiancée is killed, the violence is unleashed again.”

Sallis has even more insight on Gosling’s portrayal of the subdued, and at times explosively violent Driver:

“It was difficult not to visualise Ryan Gosling playing the role when I wrote the sequel,” admits Sallis. “I think he really made the character his own. Of course, they made changes in the script – but it has the blood, heart and guts of the book – it feels like my film.”

ryan-gosling-drive-2-sequelThe character of the Driver was something Sallis called a “blank slate,” saying:

“He is someone who doesn’t really have much personality. You never really know him or his motives, however much backstory I give. In the film, Ryan Gosling’s long looks with no expression on his face sums this state up perfectly.”

Sallis also said that the powers that be “love the book,” which is a bit thin but will hopefully lead to bigger things.  Refn said he wouldn’t rule out directing a sequel and he’s quite comfortable working with Gosling.  The duo is currently collaborating on Only God Forgives. For now, we’ll just have to wait for some more concrete news as to whether Driven is moving forward.  Until then, keep the soundtrack going.

Here’s the horrendously SPOILERY book description for Driven (via Amazon):

Seven years have passed. Driver has left the old life, become Paul West, and founded a successful business back in Phoenix. Walking down the street one day, he and his fiancee are attacked by two men and, while Driver dispatches both, his fiancee is killed. Sinking back into anonymity, aided by his friend Felix, an ex-gangbanger and Desert Storm vet, Driver retreats, but finds that his past stalks him and will not stop. He has to turn and face it.

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