Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives) has been speaking about the current state of cinema. In short, he says cinema is fine but Hollywood is a problem.


Marvel, Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way Of Water cannot disguise the terrible state of 2022 returns. While out promoting Copenhagen Cowboy, his new feature on Netflix, he spoke with a Deadline podcast and said Hollywood couldn’t even make Drive today:

“I just think it would be very difficult to finance because the ecosystem is in such freefall. But absolutely, I think you could make any film with a heart nowadays. In a way, it will probably be good for the system. It will probably be something that moves things forward again.”

Refn says he likes the freedom he has on streaming and this is why filmmakers are flocking tot he medium, leaving mainstream movies creatively bankrupt as the most interesting ideas are now being made elsewhere:

“Hollywood is very seductive and intoxicating, but it’s also a system that’s falling apart desperately, and I think they’re doing it to themselves more than anything else. Who knows? I would love to make something grandiose and big, but I would want to maintain my freedom, my impulse and creative control.

The theatrical market is in its own redefinition of existence. For cinema to survive, we need to go back and make films again. There also needs to be an ecosystem that reflects the opportunities.

Streaming has forced the theatrical market to reinvent themselves as well. I don’t think theatrical will ever go away. I think theatrical will always exist, but it needs to be challenged in order to become better, more sufficient and more meaningful.”

Refn’s Copenhagen Cowboy premieres on Netflix on January 5th.

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