Nicolas Winding Refn in Talks to Adapt 'Button Man: The Killing Game'
Right now Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn is busy with star Ryan Gosling again on the set of Only God Forgives, a story about the son of a Florida-based crime syndicate boss (Kristen Scott Thomas) who is plying the drug trade in Thailand with his brother until the addicted sibling gets caught up in murder and has his life threatened. Then Gosling must use his mixed martial arts skills to seek revenge. There's swords and blood and it sounds awesome. And Refn isn't done with violence and crime yet as Deadline reports the director is in talks with DreamWorks to adapt Button Man, based on the graphic novel of the same name.
Harry Exton, ex-mercenary, is a "Button Man", a hired killer pitted against other killers in an underground sport. Each works for a mysterious "Voice", a rich man of unknown identity. The object of the game is to kill your opponent, or capture him and take his marker - the first two joints of a finger. Button Men who lose three fingers are shot anyway. The "voices" profit from the game by gambling on the outcome, and a ruthless killer like Harry Exton can make a modestly wealthy man extremely rich. Exton decides to quit, only to discover that leaving the Button Man game isn't so easy.
Sounds like the perfect plot for Refn, who seems to have a great grasp on gritty crime stories and knows how to tell them with beautiful and striking visuals. As of now Refn is the only attached talent behind the camera with Roger Kass, Josh Braun and Michael De Luca producing. This could easily become another vehicle for Gosling to lead if Refn wants to work with him again, but I'd like to see what he can do with another leading man, despite how much I love the duo working together. Plus, this sounds like a great project to either precede or follow-up Refn's eventual adaptation of Logan's Run which is set in the future (like this graphic novel), but also has familiar elements of his own original work.