Nicolas Winding Refn: Hollywood Is ‘Falling Apart Desperately’

The director also said he could still make Drive today, but “financing would be very difficult because the ecosystem is in free fall.”

Despite some success stories at the box office this year — Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: Way of Water — the theatrical industry has had a tough year, with several critically acclaimed High-profile bombs and lower box office receipts than their pre-pandemic counterparts. Nicolas Winding Refn, a director who is pessimistic about the direction of the film industry and Hollywood in general, says Hollywood as a system is “crashing like hell”.

“Hollywood is very seductive and intoxicating, but it’s also a system that’s desperately falling apart,” Refn said in an interview on Deadline’s podcast “Crew Call” to promote his upcoming Netflix series “Copenhagen Cowboys.” “And I think they’re doing it for themselves more than anything else. Who knows? I’d love to do something grand, but I want to keep my freedom, my impulses, my creative control.”

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Refn further stated that he hopes movies will survive, but that the theater market needs to reinvent itself to compete with streaming. He went on to say that he “thinks” he’ll make a new movie next year.

“The theatrical market is redefining existence. For movies to survive, we need to go back and make movies again. There also needs to be an ecosystem that reflects the opportunity,” Refn said. “Streaming has also forced the theater market to reinvent itself. I don’t think theater will ever go away. I think theater will always be there, but it needs to be challenged to be better, more fulfilling, and more meaningful.”

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In the US, Refn is best known for directing the 2011 film Drive, which starred Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stunt driver and killer. Asked if he thought he could make the film today, Refn said he could, but given the state of the industry, financing would be more challenging.

“Of course, I just think financing is going to be very difficult because the ecosystem is in free fall. But absolutely I think you can make any movie with your heart right now. In a way, it might be good for the system. forward development.”

During the podcast, Refn was also asked if he had considered doing a more mainstream film, such as a superhero project, which he sympathetically declined.

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“I’ve always cherished my independence. I think waking up in the morning and going to work, painting the way you want it to be and coming home, is still the most satisfying experience for me,” says Refn. “If you don’t have control at the end of the day, or the ability to manipulate your own interests, it’s the committee. You have to work all day trying to reach a compromise, so what kind of example am I to my own kids?”

“Copenhagen Cowboys” premieres January 5 on Netflix.

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