After “falling madly in love with the electricity of Los Angeles” while making Drive, writer/director Nicolas Winding Refn will return to the City of Angels for his next project, The Neon Demon. Described as a horror tale with a young female-led cast, the picture will be co-financed and co-distributed by France’s Gaumont and Wild Bunch who were partnered on Refn’s 2013 pic Only God Forgives. Refn wrote the screenplay with new talent Mary Laws.
The Danish helmer won the 2011 Best Director prize in Cannes for Drive and his other feature credits include Bronson and Valhalla Rising. He says of The Neon Demon, “One morning I woke and realized I was both surrounded and dominated by women. Strangely, a sudden urge was planted in me to make a horror film about vicious beauty.”
Principal photography is set to begin in the first quarter of 2015 in LA. Refn’s regular collaborators, editor Matthew Newman and composer Cliff Martinez, will be joined by The Grandmaster director of photography Philippe Le Sourd on the film.
Gaumont and Wild Bunch are jointly selling the project at the AFM with a release eyed for 2016. Refn’s partner, Lene Borglum, will produce under their Space Rocket banner.
The director had been expected to be teeing up thriller I Walk With The Dead, but I’m told The Neon Demon will go next. He’s also got the Barbarella TV series in development at Gaumont.