Nicolas Winding Refn snagged a Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year for his efforts on the grim Noir flick, Drive, which is currently making a splash at the 2011 Comic-Con down in San Diego (read more about the Drive Comic-Con panel).

A red band trailer has been released for Drive, which (similar to a previously-released clip) paints the film as being a dark crime thriller that boasts a stellar cast and some excellent talent working behind-the-scenes as well.

Drive stars Ryan Gosling, alongside other noteworthy names like Oscar-nominee Carey Mulligan (An Education), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Oscar Isaac (Sucker Punch), and Oscar-nominee Albert Brooks, tackling the role of a seedy criminal type for the first time since his memorably slimy turn in Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight.

Here is an official description of the film:

DRIVE is the story of a Hollywood stunt driver by day (Gosling), a loner by nature, who moonlights as a top-notch getaway driver-for-hire in the criminal underworld. He finds himself a target for some of LA’s most dangerous men after agreeing to aid the husband (Isaac) of his beautiful neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan). When the job goes dangerously awry, the only way he can keep Irene and her son alive is to do what he does best—Drive!

Check out the (fairly tame) red band trailer for Drive (via IGN) below:

Early word on Drive from Screen Rant‘s own Mike Eisenberg pegs it as being more of a meditative and atmospheric picture that’s surprisingly heavy on the gore for an arthouse film (think Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction). There are definitely hints of that in this adults-only theatrical preview, what with Isaac’s character sporting a blood-stained wife beater and Gosling prepping himself to hammer a bullet into a criminal’s forehead, near the conclusion.

Refn is known for delivering authentically gritty fare, having been at the helm of flicks like Bronson (which catapulted Inception star Tom Hardy to fame) and last year’s gruesome Viking tale, Valhalla Rising. Drive definitely appears to be in the same vein, with the footage unveiled so far sporting some subtle but stylish darker color tones, courtesy of cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel (The Usual Suspects, Three Kings) – not to mention, the pulpy but raw nature of the storyline, as brought to life by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Hossein Amini (The Wings of the Dove), working from James Sallis’ original novel.

Gosling in 'Drive'

There are definitely parallels between Drive and Ben Affleck’s The Town, which was also a crime genre flick that boasted an overall stellar cast (and characters donning creepy face masks to hide their identity). Drive could easily be just as well-received as Affleck’s last picture, seeing how it features most of the same ingredients – plus, a leading man in the form of Gosling, who can be a real powerhouse actor when the occasion calls for it (see: Half Nelson, Blue Valentine).

Drive hits U.S. theaters later this year on September 16th, 2011.

Source: IGN