'Drive' director Refn in talks to direct 'Button Man: The Killing Game'

Will Perkins
Wide Screen
June 1, 2012

Sometimes material just seems made for a certain filmmaker. According to Deadline, "Drive" director Nicolas Winding Refn is in talks with Dreamworks to adapt the comic book "Button Man: The Killing Game" for the big screen. Created by "Judge Dredd" creator John Wagner, "Button Man's" subject matter seems eerily suited for Refn's distinct brand of ultraviolent filmmaking.

The story centres on Harry Exton, a former gun for hire competing against other soldiers and former mercenaries in a deadly underground sport financed by wealthy businessmen. The object of the game is kill or be killed, with each killer working for an unseen benefactor who is betting on the outcome. With Exton's particular skillset, he can easily make his patron a very rich man, but when he decides to get out of the game once and for all, he finds that it is easier said than done.

"Button Man: The Killing Game" sounds like a very adult version of "The Hunger Games," though the source material predates Suzanne Collins' novel by about 16 years. In any case, "Button Man" seems right up Refn's alley, featuring many of the hallmarks of his previous films -- most notably, a seedy criminal underworld and the potential for brutal violence and unbridled bloodshed. Combine those elements and the story with Refn's minimalist aesthetic, and you have the recipe for a very cool movie.

If the project goes forward, the question remains: Who will play "Button Man" Harry Exton in the film? Leonardo DiCaprio ("Inception") had been rumoured to be circling the part a few years ago, but it's far more likely that Refn would go with a more familiar face. "Drive" star Ryan Gosling and the Danish director seem to be getting along swimmingly, having just wrapped their second collaboration, "Only God Forgives," in Thailand last month. The Canadian Gosling is also attached to star in Refn's other big back burner project, his remake of the sci-fi classic "Logan's Run."

Place your bets now. How likely is another Refn-RyGos collaboration?

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