Nicolas Winding Refn is probably one of the more polarizing filmmakers out there these days. His films have gotten increasingly more violent, more disturbing, more interesting to some, more annoyingly on the nose and misogynistic for others. Now, Refn is dipping his toes into the spy thriller genre with The Avenging Silence.
He’s released a detailed synopsis, and it sounds appropriately wacky:
The spy was one of the leading spies in Europe. An injury inflicted to his vocal cords during a failed mission six years ago left him mute, forcing him to leave his profession. Now, six years later, he is sought out and put on confidential assignment by a former Yakuza, now a retired Japanese businessman in exile in France, to track down and kill the head of the most dangerous Yakuza family in Japan.
Afraid of flying, our spy anonymously boards a cargo ship headed for Tokyo. An onboard explosion sinks the ship and our spy finds himself washed ashore on a life raft in southern Japan. As a mute, our spy must silently journey through Japan seeking 4 clues – symbolizing conquest, war, famine, and death – which will guide him to the unknown location of the Yakuza boss. Meanwhile, the Yakuza boss, known for his 2004 mass slaughter of Yakuza members who had turned against him, is believed to be plotting to re- enter the Japanese underworld after living in his own surreptitious world in the mountains, void of all technology. This way of life becomes an obsession for the Yakuza boss. Rumors spread that he had committed suicide years ago but escaped prisoners from his hidden camp told stories of his plan for a comeback. Now rival Yakuza families suspect he is forming a master plan to return, a plan that unburies the most infamous story of Yakuza betrayal.
Our spy finds himself on an existential journey through Japan in search of pieces to the puzzle that will lead him to a confrontation with the ultimate Yakuza boss in a terrifying conclusion.
No matter how extensive this synopsis looks, expect plenty of shocks and surprises from Refn along the way. He’s working with veteran James Bond scribes Robert Wade and Neal Purvis to work on the screenplay, but I seriously doubt this will look like any James Bond film we’ve ever seen coming from Nicolas Winding Refn.
Stay tuned for filming schedules, casting, and release date information.