"After making 'Drive' and falling madly in love with the electricity of Los Angeles, I knew I had to return," said Nicolas Winding Refn as he announced his new film project in November. Now the Danish director is ready to shoot "The Neon Demon," with principal photography taking off from 30 March in Los Angeles.
"The Neon Demon" is a horror tale about young women in the fashion industry. When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of women obsessed with beauty and willing to do whatever it takes to remain young and attractive.
"Super Cool Wonder Woman"
Taking the lead in Winding Refn's female-driven horror film is Elle Fanning, one of Hollywood's rising young actresses with films such as Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere," Sally Potter's "Ginger & Rosa" and Disney's "Maleficent" under her belt.
"Elle Fanning is a super cool wonder woman and I look forward to going on a terrifying trip with her into ‘The Neon Demon,'" Winding Refn told The Wrap in January.
On the cast is also Christina Hendricks, who played in Winding Refn's 2011 Cannes winner "Drive," Keanu Reeves, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee and Bella Heathcote.
First film since Only God Forgives
Behind the camera, the director has teamed up with three of his regular partners: editor Matthew Newman ("Bronson," "Drive," "Only God Forgives"), composer Cliff Martinez ("Drive," "Only God Forgives"), and sound designer Kristian Selin Eidnes Andersen ("Only God Forgives"). They are joined by director of photography Natasha Braier.
The film is scripted by Winding Refn in collaboration with first-timer Mary Laws and produced by the director's long-time collaborator Lene Børglum for their joint company Space Rocket Nation. As with Winding Refn's previous film "Only God Forgives," French sales companies Wild Bunch and Gaumont are on board to co-finance and co-distribute. The film has received funding from the Danish Film Institute, and release is scheduled for 2016.
"The Neon Demon" is Winding Refn's first film since his Bangkok-set crime thriller "Only God Forgives" (2013), selected for Cannes Competition. Director of the acclaimed "Pusher" trilogy (1996, 2004, 2005), Winding Refn has attracted international attention for films such as "Bronson" (2009), "Valhalla Rising" (2010) and "Drive" (2011), winner of the Best Director award in Cannes.