Lockdown Rewatch

Drive

“You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window.”


This weekend’s Lockdown Rewatch is Nicholas Winding Refn’s 2011 neon-noir thriller Drive. The film’s initial marketing materials confused some audiences as it seemed to sell the film as a more straightforwardly action orientated driving film (a sort of Fast and Furious-lite) but in actuality what they got was a sombre, quiet, contemplative and extremely violent tone poem – or superhero film if you are to believe Refn’s own description. Based on James Sallis’ non-linear 2005 novel, Gosling plays an unnamed driver who works as a stuntman specialising in motors by day, and a wheelman for thieves by night, who is always, always on time…

Did you know…

1) Producer Marc E. Platt brought Ryan Gosling on board even before securing Refn to direct. “I have this list that I’ve created of very talented individuals whose work inspires me – writers, directors, actors whom I have to work with before I go onto another career or do something else with my life”, said Platt. “Near the top of that list was Ryan Gosling.” Drive was the very first script Platt sent to Gosling, and the actor agreed to discuss the project less than 48 hours later. 

2) Before Gosling was cast, the film was in development at Universal, who optioned the rights to the book, for several years without receiving the green light, and was originally designed for Hugh Jackman to star as the driver. 

3) Refn didn’t use traditional camera and towing rigs to capture the car chase sequences. Instead, cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel worked with a bespoke so-called “Biscuit Rig”, developed for the movie Seabiscuit to capture shots of the jockeys mid-race. Simplified, the biscuit rig is a drive-able chassis which allows other machinery to be placed on top of it, including cars or motorbikes. This way Gosling could focus on acting, rather than physically driving the car. 

Our first clip shows the “lift scene’ – one of the most memorable, and shocking sequences from the film. It’s followed by some BTS footage of the Biscuit Rig in action. The footage is courtesy of stunt driver Robert Nagle who is a co-creator of the rig and drove it in both The Dark Knight Rises and Drive.