Nicolas Winding Refn on ‘Too Old to Die Young’ & Why He Considers It a 13-Hour Film

     June 22, 2019

Nicolas Winding Refn makes his streaming debut wth Too Old to Die Young, the new Amazon series that gives the filmmaker a 13-hour platform to weave another slick and cynical tapestry of the Los Angeles criminal underground. Miles Teller stars as an L.A. cop who starts moonlighting as a hired assassin. Too Old to Die Young is Refn to the bone, alight with his signature stylings and perverse narrative fascinations, and with the full series now streaming on Amazon, it was a hoot to welcome the filmmaker into the Collider studio for an in-depth chat about the project and his jump into streaming.

During the wide-ranging chat, Refn discussed the challenges of executing a 10-month shoot and what he does when he goes “cuckoo” in the process, why he recruited comic legend Ed Brubaker to help him write the scripts, why he’s so passionate about streaming and why it was the right medium for this project, why he considers Too Old to Die Young a “13-hour movie” rather than a TV series, why he values polarization in art, why he hasn’t directed a studio film but still wants to do Batgirl, and a lot more. Watch what he had to say in the interview above and check out a full list of what we discussed below.


Image via Amazon Studios

Nicolas Winding Refn:

  • Why did he choose to screen Episodes 4 and 5 for critics and Cannes?
  • Talks about the challenge of executing a 10-month shoot in chronological order.
  • How does he make himself keep going when he’s going a little “cuckoo” in the process?
  • Why did he turn to Ed Brubaker to help him write the series?
  • Talks about realizing he needed a woman in the writer’s room.
  • How did they all work together to conceive and realize the scripts?
  • Explains why he likes to shoot chronologically and change the story as he films.
  • Talks about how that creative process translates to how he works with his actors.
  • How did he decide Miles Teller was the right actor to lead Too Old to Die Young.
  • Talks about asking Elle Fanning who he should cast.
  • Why is he so passionate about streaming and why was it necessary for this project?
  • Discusses the intimacy of streaming vs. the theatrical experience.
  • Why does he describe it as a “13-hour film” rather than a TV series?
  • Discusses why he values polarization in his art.
  • What does he want to do after finishing this project?
  • Explains how his streaming site byNWR has become the intention of his future projects.
  • Says his Maniac Cop project hasn’t moved forward because it isn’t right yet.
  • Talks about why he doesn’t get hung up on the projects that didn’t go through and why he felt he wasn’t the right person for the studio films coming his way.
  • Says he’d still love to do Batgirl and knows who he wants to play her.