Back in 2011, Nicolas Winding Refn delivered one of the year's most celebrated films with Drive, a Ryan Gosling-fronted crime flick about a Hollywood stunt man who moonlights as a getaway driver. Despite an Oscar snub, the film fared well at the box office, grossing over $72 million worldwide — five times its $15 million budget. It was hailed amongst critics circles, too, earning praise for its skillful balance between arthouse and action.
When comic vet Ed Brubaker made the jump from page to screen in 2016, he found similar success. He served as a supervisor and writer for Westworld, which was one of last year's biggest fall breakouts. It fast became a ratings dynamo, and picked up several awards in the process.
Now, the pair are teaming up for Amazon series Too Old To Die Young. According to Variety, the crime thriller was greenlit on Wednesday with a straight-to-series order of 10 episodes. It will explore the criminal underbelly of Los Angeles, and is described as being in a similar vein to Refn’s Pusher trilogy, which looked at Danish criminals caught up in the drug trade. It will follow various characters’ existential journeys from killers to samurais.
Refn will direct as well as serve as a co-writer with Brubaker, who will executive produce. Variety also reports the project is eyeing several big-name stars, though no official deals have been made as of yet. The show will shoot this fall in Los Angeles.
Too Old To Die Young could go any number of directions. Amazon previously released Refn's Neon Demon, his recent Elle Fanning-led horror flick. The movie was somewhat of a critical flop, and his previous efforts have been largely hit or miss. His '90s-launched Pusher trilogy notched widespread acclaim, but his 2013 Drive follow-up, Only God Forgives, received a polarizing response.
Brubaker, on the other hand, has contributed to crime gems like Lowlife, The Fall, Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives, and Scene of the Crime, as well a string of time-tested favorites including Batman, Daredevil, Captain America, and Catwoman. If his work on Westworld is any indication, his writing should continue to thrive on television.
Amazon, too, is pushing hard for buzzy original content. Following their lauded runs with shows like Transparent and A Man In the High Castle, they already have efforts with Julianne Moore, Robert De Niro, David O. Russell, and Matthew Weiner (Mad Men) in the pipeline. Perhaps together, Refn, Brubaker, and Amazon can hit their stride.
No further details have been announced for Too Old To Die Young.