Funny that we’ve started off the morning with hero-related footage and an image that gets to be followed up by very typical hero-news of an impending sequel! The twist is that this is no ordinary comic book hero, but the twisted, broken, anti-glorified “hero” of Nicholas Winding Refn’s adaptation Drive.

Now to start- let’s note that many an author has spoken of the film that’s “in the works” or “in development” around their book without such a project ever actually manifesting. That said, Drive was a quiet hit that managed to make $75m worldwide against a $15m budget, and seems to be something of a passionate playground for director Nicholas Winding Refn and his star Ryan Gosling. So I’d assume the money could be found if they decided to step back into it, and if they did so based on James Sallis’ sequel novel, what kind of framework would they be using?

Sallis now resurrects the character beginning the sequel seven years after Drive ends. “He is trying to suppress the violence – but the sequel shows the process of him accepting that this is who he is. He tries to become a normal person and re-invents himself. After his fiance is killed, the violence is unleashed again.”

That definitely strikes me as a boilerplate pulp novel (which describes Drive as well) and even edges in on Cronenberg territory by sounding awfully similar to A History Of Violence (a film I suggested would go well with Refn’s, in tweets and conversations with pals at the time). Drive is definitely an example of an inspired director and actor pinpointing some ultra-specific tone around which they could build something special, and I’m sure Driven would be bones-enough to support another such effort. However, it’s only going to matter to me if those two get the spark and go after it again of their own accord. Drive created some recognizable iconography (and inspired more fan art than I’ve seen in some time), but it’s all very twisted and subversive- not something that’s going to result from just anyone adapting the author’s next work, which he admits has itself been affected by Refn’s vision.

“It was difficult not to visualize Ryan Gosling playing the role when I wrote the sequel,” admits Sallis. “I think he really made the character his own. Of course, they made changes in the script – but it has the blood, heart and guts of the book – it feels like my film.”

Refn and Gosling are already moving towards completing their next project, Only God Forgives, and have increasingly full dance cards after that. Sallis specifically says “they love the book” and that a film is in the pipeline, but I’d be surprised to see this come together anytime soon. It’s something to keep an eye out for though, and surely both principles will be questioned about it soon enough.

Source | Independent UK (via Dark Horizons)