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Los Angeles Film Festival: As buzz builds for 'Drive,' Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Refn contemplate a different genre

June 18, 2011 |  7:30 pm

Ryan Gosling and Danish auteur Nicolas Winding Refn team up for "Drive," a new love story/heist saga/violent thriller/character study that rode out of Cannes on a crescendo of buzz before holding its U.S. premiere at the  Los Angeles Film Festival on Friday night.

The two are also set to reunite on a remake of "Logan's Run." (More on both of those soon.) But the duo -- whose "Drive" co-stars Albert Brooks in a show-stealing, against-type performance as a murderous mob man -- may have another film up their sleeve. And it's not exactly in line with their other collaborations.

"We're doing a comedy, and Albert Brooks promised he'd write the screenplay," Refn told 24 Frames on Friday afternoon, a few hours before his movie premiered in Los Angeles. "Well, that's not exactly true. But print it and we'll make it true."

Gosling chimed in with a slight clarification. "We're definitely going to do a comedy, and we're trying desperately to get [Brooks] to write it."

And what comedic genre could Gosling and Refn -- known respectively for their dramas and dark thrillers -- possibly have in mind? "It's a romantic comedy set in New York, which seems like a great place to start," Refn said. 

Expect a lot more in the coming months on Brooks, who is already set up nicely for an Oscar run, as well as "Drive," which marries Scandinavian-flavored genre filmmaking with American actors at the top of their game, as it prepares to come out Sept. 16. The Friday night premiere for the movie, which is based on James Sallis' novel and also stars Carey Mulligan and Bryan Cranston, was very warmly received by the LAFF crowd (among other things, it makes effective and diverse use of Los Angeles locales), and the film is already starting to garner attention among both the genre and art-house crowds.

If Brooks indeed joins Gosling and Refn on their new comedy, it could spell an offbeat reunion. In "Drive," the normally gregarious Gosling  gives a laconic performance as a Hollywood stuntman-cum-getaway driver. And Brooks' for one, wasn't convinced.

"On set, he'd have this running commentary on why I'm not talking in the film," Gosling told 24 Frames. He goes into a Brooks imitation: " 'It's clearly not working. What are you doing? You've tried it. You've done it, but this is starting to get weird.' And then after a while he just said, 'OK, you keep doing that. I'll do the acting for both of us.' "


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--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Ryan Gosling in "Drive." Credit: FilmDistrict