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Nicolas Winding Refn Has His Eye On Batgirl

Through most of his career, Nicolas Winding Refn has been content to keep his distance from the Hollywood studio system. With 10 feature films under his belt—including two Ryan Gosling star vehicles—he has yet to make a movie for a studio. Drive was a worldwide hit, but Refn managed to make it through independent channels. Following that film’s success, Refn was attached to ambitious studio projects like the long gestating Logan’s Run remake, but they all fell apart, allowing him to focus on indie oddities like Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon. In spite of his modest budgets, Refn clearly has the craft and imagination to become a big budget auteur—so what’s he waiting for?

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In a recent interview with Refn, Business Insider asked the director if a superhero movie could potentially lure him to a studio. “God, I would love to make one, it would probably be great fun,” he said. “I just don’t know when it’s going to happen. I very much enjoy my freedom creatively, but I also would love to make one of those big Hollywood films that costs a lot of money and has a lot of people running around with cell phones and all that insanity. What ones are left? You know the one I want to do? I want to make Batgirl. Let’s get Warner working on it.”

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This is an undeniably intriguing possibility, but we’re guessing Warner has no interest in handing a broad appeal property like Batgirl over to a chronic risk-taker like Refn. The director might also see his stock drop on the heels of The Neon Demon’s ongoing underperformance. Over the weekend, the film averaged a shockingly low $775 per screen in limited release, confirming North Americans’ intolerance for challenging and/or original films. But if Refn can just get those virtues out of his system, he might finally be ready for Hollywood.

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