Nicolas Winding Refn starts shooting ‘Neon Demon’ with Elle Fanning

Nicolas Winding Refn has started production on his next feature, "The Neon Demon."

Nicolas Winding Refn has started production on his next feature, “The Neon Demon.”

(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

“Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn is back on the streets of Los Angeles, where production has begun on his upcoming horror film, “The Neon Demon.”

The Danish filmmaker’s production company, Space Rocket Nation, announced the start of shooting Monday and also confirmed the movie’s principal cast of Elle Fanning, Jena Malone, Karl Glusman, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee, Desmond Harrington, Christina Hendricks and Keanu Reeves.

The story concerns an aspiring model (Fanning) who moves to the City of Angels and finds herself swallowed up by a group of beauty-obsessed women that covet her youth and vitality.

“Neon Demon” follows Refn’s atmospheric Bangkok crime thriller, “Only God Forgives,” a critical and commercial dud when it landed in 2013. It also marks his cinematic return to the Southland, the setting of his breakout film, “Drive,” which won the best director award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.


Refn, whose other credits include “Bronson,” “Valhalla Rising” and the “Pusher” trilogy, co-wrote “Neon Demon” with newcomer Mary Laws.

In his typical elliptical fashion, the 44-year-old director said in a statement about the film, “I very much look forward to the odyssey I’ll be taking with all these wonderful actresses (and a few guys) to travel beyond ‘The Neon Demon’ where all I see is the wicked dying young.”

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