With its first original movie already on the way, Amazon Studios has made another big move. The online retail giant has acquired The Neon Demon, a horror film from acclaimed director, writer, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn, reports Variety. The movie stars Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, and Jena Malone.
The Neon Demon follows a young woman (Fanning) who moves to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a model. Once in the City of Angels, however, she encounters a group of beauty-focused women who devour her youth and vitality. The concept stemmed from Refn’s desire to “make a horror film about vicious beauty.”
With Refn developing something of a cult following, the film is a strong addition to Amazon’s slate. His career has included well-received films like Pusher, Valhalla Rising, and Drive. For the last of these, he won the director prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The movie, which stars Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, earned numerous awards and accolades, including an Academy Award nomination.
The Neon Demon was co-financed by Gaumont and the Wild Bunch, both of which handled Refn’s 2013 film Only God Forgives. Refn’s production partner, Lene Borglum, produced via their Danish banner Space Rocket Nation. It also reunites Refn with a team that he’s frequently collaborated with, including editor Mathew Newman, composer Cliff Martinez, and cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd.
Amazon recently released a trailer for its first original movie, Chi-Raq, which comes from yet another critically acclaimed director, Spike Lee, and stars Samuel L. Jackson, Teyonah Parris, Wesley Snipes, John Cusack, and more. Chi-Raq will be released in theaters, and then made available online for streaming within a short window. The studio, which was unveiled in 2010, has plans to produce and distribute about 12 movies a year.
The Neon Demon will open in U.S. theaters next summer.