Drive star Ryan Gosling and director Nicolas Winding Refn are back with Only God Forgives, an East-meets-West drama/thriller filled with bloody acts of revenge and redemption. The pair's new motion picture collaboration may be included in the lineup for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, but there has been no confirmation yet; nor, for that matter, have we seen any marketing so far, besides the low-quality teaser that surfaced online earlier this year (before it was pulled).
That changes today, as we have some official movie stills depicting Gosling in the film, in addition to costars Oscar-nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and Vithaya Pansringarm (The Hangover Part II).
Only God Forgives features Gosling as Julian, a former U.S. citizen who now lives in exile in Bangkok (following a crime he committed some ten years earlier). Julian quietly runs a Thai boxing club as a cover for a major drugs operation - which is linked to a powerful criminal organization headed by his mother Jenna (Thomas) - but must use his fighting skills outside the ring after his family crosses paths with a dangerous foe: a cop named Chang (Pansringarm), otherwise known as 'The Angel of Vengeance.'
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The careful use of dark hues, shadows and visual composition call back to Refn's previous work with cinematographer Larry Smith (who collaborated on Bronson), in addition to the director's stylistic approach to creating a neo-Noir setting in Drive. 'Fiery red' appears to be the dominant color appearing through the picture, judging by the photo of Thomas and a previously-released pic featuring Gosling looking dark and serious. It's appropriate, given the subject matter and Refn's traditional visual approach.
As for when Only God Forgives could reach theaters: a Fall date seems the most likely, as it would give Gosling and Refn's new project time to generate buzz at film festivals and related events in advance - similar to how Drive screened at Cannes in 2011 (and even made an appearance at Comic-Con).