HOLLYWOOD – Mads Mikkelsen plays Vladimir Putin in a new biopic of the Russian leader.

Nicolas Winding Refn confirmed that he had found his Putin. Refn regular Mads Mikkelsen is to take the role in the new movie Vlad the Impaler. Speaking EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec, the Hannibal star had this to say:

I love working with Nicolas so I read any script he sends me. This one looks like a home run. We trace the life of the Russian leader from when he was a naive young KGB man to the giddy heights of power. And yes, we detail the relationships that have mattered most to him. Yeltsin, Gorbachev and Trump. We go there. And you know Nicolas, it gets pretty extreme.

Like Only God Forgives?

And Valhalla Rising too.

How are you preparing for the role?

The same as I did for Hannibal but without the cooking.

Vlad the Impaler will be released in 2018.



HOLLYWOOD – Following on from the cult success of Drive in 2011, Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling are teaming up for the long awaited sequel: Drive 2: Uber Driver.

The EXCLUSIVE first look poster arrived in the offices of the Studio Exec this morning along with the Drive 2 synopsis.

Driver is a man who has lost everything: his career as a stunt driver, his best friend, his girl. Chased by the mob, wanted by the cops and pressed by the … you know … economy, Driver is forced to take on one more job, one last job before he can split forever. He becomes an Uber Driver.

Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn called into the offices to chat about the new film.

Basically I did not want to make this sequel. I went to the Far East to make Only God Forgives as a way of doing something totally different. I knew James Sallis [author of the original Drive novel] had written a sequel called Driven, but I wasn’t interested in doing that, but I was back in LA last month and I was going to some industry function. I called a car. And who was driving it? Ryan Reynolds! It turned out that after Only God Forgives and Gangster Squad he’s been finding it difficult to get work. So we talked. I give him five stars. And I came up with this idea.

How will Drive 2 differ from Drive?

It will be less violent. I’ve done the violence thing now and when we talked to the Uber people about helping us out with some corporate sponsorship they did bring up in a note the issue that having an Uber driver working as a hit-man was kind of  a no-no for them. So we took out the violence and we just had Driver be a regular Uber guy.

Does he get a good rating form his clients?

No, because he doesn’t talk much. He just chews matchsticks and everyone keeps saying ‘Hey, are you Ryan Reynolds?’ And that makes Driver really mad, but he holds it in, quietly.

Driver 2 will be released in 2016.


HOLLYWOOD -In what sociologists are calling a ‘disturbing trend’, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn has changed his name to Nicolas Win-a-Ding Bada-Bing Refn in an effort to be taken less seriously.

The Only God Forgives director explained the change exclusively to Studio Exec:

I was inspired by Cate Blanket (for more on that story click HERE). Here’s an actress at the top of her game and she suddenly decides to leap fully clothed into whimsy. Well done. 

What changes do you expect the name to make?

To begin with it will make interviews longer and I really enjoy interviews. Plus it will force critics to stop taking my films so seriously I mean really do we have to always pour over my films as if they actually mean something? I don’t see anyone doing that with Kevin James movies and they must mean something as well. 

Other Hollywood stars contemplating changing their names are Miley Cyrus who is reportedly considering the moniker F*ckety F*ck F*ck and Jamie Foxx who rather sensibly wants to go normal as Jamie Fox. For further news remember to check the Studio Exec website on a second by second basis. 


The Driver (Ryan Gosling) has been having ‘One Night in Bangkok’ for a few years, running a boxing club and drug dealing, when his big brother gets himself offed. Cue their mother (Kristin Scott Thomaswho turns up looking like Cameron Diaz’s young Ma and trash-talks Driver into seeking revenge from a local policeman (Vithaya Pansringarm), who with his choppy sword and his impassive face is behaving like Charles Bronson on Xanax.

Nicholas Winding Refn has self-consciously made a Midnight Movie, a thin blade of a film with lashings of Ultra Violence, body horror and a hypnotically threatening soundtrack by Cliff Martinez. The story is slight and no more than an excuse for certain key scenes – the boxing match being an obvious centre piece – and the characters likewise are an exercise in style, with Gosling producing a particularly somnambulant parody of himself. 
Channelling his inner David Lynch, Winding Refn has made a good looking film, but it feels like the work of a nice boy playing at bad; a geek grasping for cool, a European dabbling in the icky-ness of the East. 


COPENHAGEN – Nicholas Winding Refn has revealed that his Drive follow up and Cannes contender Only God Forgives has taken as its inspiration The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The Pusher director commented:

I already had the script of Only God Forgive written when I saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and immediately I saw the thematic similarities of a violent clash between East and West, man and woman. I immediately rewrote the script to bring it more in line.

John Madden – director of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and other comfortably carpeted films such as Shakespeare In Love – said that he was flattered by the attention paid to his films:

I know Nicholas’ work very well and it is difficult for me to believe he could have found anything inspiring in my well worn but pleasant little film. And yet he is adamant that my film is the true inspiration for his so, with that in mind, I can only feel great pride. Mystification naturally, but also pride.  

The Great Dane (as Refn prefers to be known) said:

My film will obviously be a bit more violent, because basically I haven’t got the courage of John just to let the story tell itself and I need to drag the audience into my world via such flummeries. I tried to cast the same actors but Bill Nighy was doing every other film this year and had quite a full schedule and Judi Dench slapped my face, which I took as a personal honour.

Only God Forgives will première at the 66th Cannes Film Festival.