Follow to Ryan Gosling and Winding Refn's 'Drive' heads to U.S.
Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn, the actor-director team behind this season’s artsploitation hit “Drive,” are coming back to U.S. theaters.
The duo, who are currently shooting the Thai revenge western “Only God Forgives” in Bangkok, have sold U.S. rights to the film to Radius, the Weinstein Co.’s new multi-platform label.
The move took some in the industry by surprise — a hot duo, after all, has chosen a new label to distribute its movie.
But Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, who run Radius, had distributed four of Winding Refn’s previous films (including his well-regarded “Pusher” trilogy) in their prior positions at Magnolia Pictures and had a strong relationship with the director. The sale of the independently financed feature was likely also facilitated by the fact that Bob Berney, the distribution guru who spearheaded the release of “Drive” at FilmDistrict, is no longer at that company.
While Radius has been pegged by some a company specializing in on-demand releases, Quinn emphasized in an interview that this was not the case and that a theatrical release will be a big component of the “Forgives” release.
“We’re not going for a one-size-fits-all strategy,” Quinn said. “We’re going to find the best and most convenient way for moviegoers to see it.” The film could possibly be ready for a release in late 2012, but will more likely come out in 2013.
The campaign for “Drive” was a more conventional theatrical one. Quinn said he hoped that using various platforms could broaden the audience for the latest Gosling-Winding Refn collaboration.
“Forgives" tells the story of Julian (Ryan Gosling), a one-time kickboxer and a gangster who embarks on a mission of vengeance after the murder of his brother. Kristin Scott Thomas costars. Winding Refn told 24 Frames at the Cannes Film Festival that he was heading to Asia to make a movie far away from the mainstream movie business to "remind myself where I came from."
With a serious film-geek streak, Winding Refn has a history of doing this his own way. He told 24 Frames in an interview last year that he made "Drive" in Los Angeles with American producers because he “wanted a Hollywood experience — at least once."
— Steven Zeitchik
Photo: A scene from "Drive." Credit: FilmDistrict.