Nicolas Winding Refn tends to play it close to the vest when it comes to his upcoming movies, but the details he’s dropped so far about “The Avenging Silence” have been tantalizing. Bond veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (“Casino Royale,” “Quantum Of Solace,” “Skyfall,” “Spectre“) are writing the script for the film, with the director saying early last year that the project was borne out of his desire to make “a big extravagant action film.” Then over the summer, the filmmaker teased that the movie would be inspired by Ian Fleming‘s seminal Bond book “Dr. No” and William Burroughs‘ “Nova Express.” But now, the entire synopsis for the film has been revealed. And of course, it sounds awesome.
The details come from the Crouching Tigers Project Lab launched at last month’s International Film Festival & Awards Macao. Twelve projects were selected, giving filmmakers the chance to talk with potential backers and distributors, with Refn’s “The Avenging Silence” in the mix. Back in 2015, the director shared that he might be making a spy movie, and indeed, the logline reveals that’s exactly what it is:
A former European spy, accepts a confidential mission from a Japanese businessman exiled to France to take down the head of the most treacherous Yakuza boss in Japan.
But it’s in the extended synopsis where the story gets truly fascinating, as it looks like once again, Refn will have (as the title suggests) a protagonist who doesn’t say much at all:
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 reenter 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.
Holy moly, this sounds amazing, and we hope the people who get these kinds of movies off the ground think so too. It still seems to be in development phase for “The Avenging Silence,” but it looks Refn is trying to get it mounted. Fingers crossed it all comes together.