Look, it’s not much. But based on the informal poll I never took, Drive was the consensus #1 movie of 2011 here at Collider. So when Ryan Gosling appears in an electric red still image framed by Nicolas Winding Refn from their next collaboration, Only God Forgives, we’re going to pay attention. Gosing plays Julian, a fugitive who owns a Thai boxing club that serves as a front for a drug smuggling operation. He steps in the ring to fight a retired cop known as the “Angel of Vengeance” in the hope of finding redemption. The full synopsis—featuring Kristin Scott Thomas as Julian’s mother/”the head of a powerful criminal organization”—is actually even crazier. You can find it after the jump along with the image and news of the distribution plan.
Only God Forgives was supposed to land at FilmDistrict, the home of Drive, but the deal fell through when the two parties failed to reach a compromise on certain elements. (Deadline doesn’t get into the specific sticking points, but says the hard-R project is even more violent than Drive thanks to some bloody swordplay.) Instead, The Weinstein Co’s upstart company Radius is in talks to acquire the U.S. distribution rights. Radius operates under a “multi-platform” strategy (including VOD), and is negotiating for a deal with a very respectable $2.5 million minimum guarantee.
Drive was a big hit at Cannes last year, awarding Refn Best Director. If production is far enough along to yield this image, perhaps we could see an early cut of Only God Forgives at Cannes 2012.
Here is the full synopsis:
Bangkok. Ten years ago Julian killed a cop and went on the run. Now he manages a Thai boxing club as a front for a drugs operation. Respected in the criminal underworld, deep inside, he feels empty.
When Julian’s brother murders a prostitute the police call on retired cop Chang – the Angel of Vengeance. Chang allows the father to kill his daughter’s murderer, then ‘restores order’ by chopping off the man’s right hand.
Julian’s mother Jenna – the head of a powerful criminal organization – arrives in Bangkok to collect her son’s body. She dispatches Julian to find his killers and ‘raise hell’.
Increasingly obsessed with the Angel of Vengeance, Julian challenges him to a boxing match, hoping that by defeating him he might find spiritual release… but Chang triumphs. A furious Jenna plots revenge and the stage is set for a bloody journey through betrayal and vengeance towards a final confrontation and the possibility of redemption.