After creating such violent male-dominated films like Bronson, Only God Forgives, and Valhalla Rising, Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn is entering the world of strong female leads with The Neon Demon, a dark tale of treachery and the obsession of beauty.
The film, which stars Elle Fanning, Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road), and Keanu Reeves follows a young aspiring model (Fanning) who moves to Los Angeles in the hopes of pursuing her dreams. It is there that she is met by, “…a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.”
According to Refn’s wife, Liz Corfixen, the movie is based upon the tale of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, the 16th century serial killer who is famed for murdering young virgins and bathing in their blood in an attempt to remain youthful, per Dazed Digital.
Refn talks about departing from such male-dominated violent films:
I just made a film about women, with women protagonists… I decided that I’d made enough films about violent men, and I wanted to do a film with only women in the film, and so I did this story because my wife would only go to L.A. if we had to travel out of Copenhagen. She’s like, ‘I’m done with Asia. I will only do Los Angeles.’ And so I came up with an idea and went to L.A., and I cast this woman called Elle Fanning who is absolutely fantastic, and she played the lead.
It was a great enjoyment. I actually… I don’t like men, even though I’ve made a lot of films with men in them. I’m not a guy-guy. I don’t really like hanging out with guys, I don’t do guy stuff. I love women. I love anything feminine. I love pink, I love dolls, I only have daughters.
The Neon Demon is expected to be released in early 2016.