In something of a homecoming for Nicolas Winding Refn, the provocateur has returned to his native Denmark for the first time in over a decade to direct Copenhagen Cowboy, an upcoming Netflix series slated to premiere at the ongoing Venice Film Festival on September 9. The streamer has also debuted a sneak peek at the show, which is rife with Refn‘s signature style.
Drenched in neon and scored to a bangin’ electronic soundtrack, the two-minute “trailer” doesn’t really reveal anything about the plot, but is more of a mood piece. Remember that legendary teaser that David Fincher helped cut for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Well, this is something along those lines — although with more hypnotic imagery. We see cryo chambers, a brief glimpse at a martial arts scene, and lots of pigs. Some characters yell, others posture menacingly, while the landscape alternates between recognizable reality and far-out fantasy.
Refn suggested in an interview with Variety that he has become more mature as a filmmaker, and that Copenhagen Cowboy — a supernatural revenge odyssey featuring an enigmatic young heroine — is a “continuation” of the themes that he first addressed in his Prime Video series Too Old to Die Young. In his own words:
“Too Old to Die Young was certainly a prediction of what America has turned into post-Trump. It was a show made at that specific time with what was being fed to me through media and what my own concerns and obsessions were. Copenhagen Cowboy is a continuation of that.”
He described the six-episode series as “a fairy tale that reflects everything around (us),” and revealed that it also stars his daughters Lola and Lizzielou, and that his wife, Liv Corfixen, executive produced it. Refn also serves as producer through his banner NWR, along with Lene Børglum and Christina Bostofte Erritzøe. The show has been co-written by Sara Isabella Jönsson and Johanne Algren, shot by Magnus Nordenhof Jønck, and scored by Cliff Martinez, Peter Peter, Peter Kyed and Julian Winding.
In Hollywood, Refn is perhaps best known for the ravishing crime drama Drive, starring Ryan Gosling. He reunited with the actor on the Bangkok-set revenge film Only God Forgives, and followed it up with the similarly stylish The Neon Demon. The filmmaker has transitioned from a more grounded aesthetic to something more fantastical in recent years, and Copenhagen Cowboy seems very much an embodiment of his unique style.
You can watch the sneak peek here, and read the show’s official synopsis down below:
Copenhagen Cowboy is a thrill-inducing, neon-drenched noir series set across six episodes which follows enigmatic young heroine, Miu. After a lifetime of servitude and on the verge of a new beginning, she traverses the ominous landscape of Copenhagen’s criminal netherworld. Searching for justice and enacting vengeance, she encounters her nemesis, Rakel, as they embark on an odyssey through the natural and the supernatural. The past ultimately transforms and defines their future, as the two women discover they are not alone, they are many.