Nicolas Winding Refn will be the first to admit he doesn’t know how to write female characters. The writer-director—known for violent, dreamy odes to macho cool, starring the blank stares of Mads Mikkelsen and Ryan Gosling—has always talked about movies in gendered terms (“Filmmaking is the only thing a man can do that could possibly be similar to a woman giving birth” is a fairly typical statement) and about his own work as ineffably masculine. (Heck, his last feature was about castration anxiety.)
Not that he hasn’t tried to expand his range. He’s expressed interest in directing a Wonder Woman movie, and he’s long hinted that he was going to make a horror film with an all-female cast. “I always set out wanting to make films about women, but it always ends up being about men,” he told IndieWire last year. “Maybe it was because I was afraid of women when I was younger […] Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to write them.”
Last year, Refn found a solution to his female character problem by getting someone else to write the script. And now it looks like I Walk With The Dead, written by British playwright Polly Stenham, will be Refn’s next project. The director took to Twitter to announce that the film will soon begin shooting in LA. Details on the plot are nonexistent, and it’s unclear whether Carey Mulligan—who was set to star when Stenham’s involvement was first announced—is still attached.