In another power move by Amazon Studios, the entertainment division of the everything store has acquired the rights to acclaimed and controversial director Nicolas Winding Refn’s next film The Neon Demon.
Variety reported that the studio plans to release the movie theatrically next summer before debuting it on Amazon Prime Video.
This is the next in a short but significant line of pickups by the young studio, which was launched in June by veteran producer Ted Hope to produce and distribute up to 12 movies per year. It currently has Desired Moments, a magical realist dark comedy starring Kristen Wiig, about a midwestern man who becomes obsessed with a wish-granting service he discovers on the internet, and Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, a satire detailing Chicago gang violence, lined up for distribution.
Amazon Studios also has TV projects from the likes of Diablo Cody, Shane Black, Louis CK, Tig Notaro, Sacha Baron Cohen, Nicole Holofcener, and Woody Allen in various stages of development.
Refn’s Neon Demon is the next big-name acquisition for the studio, which is assembling quite the talent roster. The movie — starring Elle Fanning, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, and Jena Malone — will chronicle a model who moves to Los Angeles and is haunted by a group of vampiric women obsessed with her beauty. Sadly there’s no sign of Ryan Gosling (who starred in consecutive Refn films Drive and Only God Forgives), but the setting, vulnerable females, and the colorful hues of the title all suggest that yes this, in fact, will be another stylish experiment from Refn.
The Danish director previously burst on to the cultural radar in 2011 with Drive before the contemplative martial arts drama Only God Forgives premiered to a more tepid response in 2013. Refn also directed other brutal, stylized movies like Valhalla Rising, Bronson, and the Pusher trilogy.
Not much else is known about The Neon Demon, but it’s guaranteed to feature a lot of blood, a lot of violence, and a killer score. Alas, there probably won’t be a silver satin jacket with a scorpion on the back.