Nicolas Winding Refn made his name with the slick neo-noir crime thriller Drive, starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. The adaptation of James Sallis’ 2005 novel saw him win the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, and it also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Editing.
Since then, Refn has gone on to direct two equally stylish films, Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon, although neither received unanimous praise. Following on from these endeavours it seems that Refn is going to take a stab at the small screen, with a 10-episode Amazon series, Too Old to Die Young, set for release in 2019.
Too Old to Die Young will be directed and written by Refn, with Westworld’s Ed Brubaker credited as co-writer. The series boasts an all-star cast including Miles Teller (Whiplash), Jena Malone (The Neon Demon) and William Baldwin (Flatliners), as well as Game of Thrones’ Nell Tiger Free.
The inclusion of an up-and-coming actor like Teller is perhaps the most exciting news regarding the project, because although Refn is known as a director with a penchant for the pretentious, his track record shows that he can inspire a great performance from his leading man. The aforementioned Drive was one of the earliest indications of what Ryan Gosling was capable of, and in 2008 Refn presided over what is possibly a career best performance from Tom Hardy in the brutal biopic, Bronson.
The first teaser trailer for the show is carried by a synth score and neon lighting, both signatures of Refn’s work, and it predominantly cuts between the actors as they point guns and look intensely at the camera. This is neither here nor there, but what we know for sure is that Refn is a gifted writer and director, and if he can put his talent towards telling an engaging story he could produce an excellent series.