EXCLUSIVE: Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn is in talks with DreamWorks to direct Button Man, an adaptation of the graphic novel Button Man: The Killing Game by John Wagner and Arthur Ranson. Wagner created Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog. The action revolves around Harry Exton, a hired gun who’s offered a fortune to take part in a game organized by bored millionaires that sets trained killers against one another in a fight to the death. The fat cats bet on the proceedings, and when Exton gets disgusted and opts out, his only exit strategy might be to off the millionaires funding the competition. The film is produced by Roger Kass, Josh Braun and Michael De Luca.
Deal isn’t done yet, but it certainly is material that is a strong match for Refn. After the critical acclaim for the stylishly violent Drive, Refn re-teamed with Ryan Gosling for Only God Forgives, a crazy drama set in Thailand, in which Gosling plays the son of a Florida-based crime syndicate boss (Kristen Scott Thomas) who is plying the drug trade in Thailand with his brother. When his addicted sibling becomes involved in a murder and gets tangled up with a sword-wielding cop who calls himself the Angel of Vengeance, Gosling’s character, who is proficient in mixed martial arts, is compelled to seek revenge on behalf of his mother. There is swordplay, and a lot of slicing and dicing. The film was acquired by Radius-TWC partners Tom Quinn and Jason Janego for their new multiplatform releasing entity. Refn is also attached with Gosling to a Warner Bros remake of Logan’s Run. He’s repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Independent Talent Group.