Nicolas Winding May Direct Horror Film 'The Bringing'

With Drive and last summer's inscrutable Only God Forgives now firmly in the rear view, Nicolas Winding Refn has had a tough time settling on his next project. He's circled a few mainstream flicks such as The Equalizer and a Logan's Run remake, but left both perhaps because they were a little too mainstream. I have no facts to back up that statement; just consider it speculation on my part. Now Refn is circling a buzzed-about horror that Sony Pictures expects to be a really big deal.

Deadline reports Refn is in early talks to direct The Bringing, which Sony fought hard to win the rights to Brandon and Phillip Murphy's script. So what's the big deal? The film's genesis was the widely circulated Youtube video of Elisa Lam, who was acting strangely in the Cecil Hotel elevator mere hours before she was found dead in the water tanks on the roof. The Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles is the place where serial killers such as Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger lived briefly, and is reportedly one of the final places Elizabeth Short (aka the Black Dahlia) was seen alive.

The Lam case will have nothing to do with the film but clearly was an inspiration on the story of "a man investigating a death at the hotel, and the nightmare he stumbles into." And why should we expect Refn to take this high-profile gig when he's passed up on so many others? Because he reached out to Sony for this one rather than the studio calling him, so clearly this is something he wants to do. That enthusiasm only calls into question the fate of Refn's proposed sex thriller Carey Mulligan became attached to some time ago.