Only God Forgives Poster

It's a recipe for battered Gosling

Don’t panic. Ryan Gosling has not been at the centre of some awful bar scrap. Nor is this the result of his getting too close to a flailing Sean Penn in Gangster Squad. No, the man responsible for this violence is Nicholas Winding Refn, or at least his make-up team, on Only God Forgives. Check out the pic below.

It’s in keeping with the film’s plot, which finds Gosling as a boxing gym-owning crime lord who seeks vengeance for his brother’s murder. But tracking down those responsible is one thing; actually getting his revenge takes a lot more doing.

Filming in Thailand, Gosling learned Muy Thai boxing for the role, and clearly needed to do a little more work on it if he was going to take down all comers. All right, so the script called for him to get badly beaten up and this is all movie magic.

It’s certainly an interesting – and, let’s face it, very Refn-style – approach to marketing a film: take the most handsome man of Hollywood’s current crop and present him as a mangled mess. Still, given that it represents a reunion of the Drive team, we’re anticipating this one with all due excitement.

Only God Forgives arrives on US screens on May 23. There’s no word on a UK date just yet.