The Famous Five Adaptation Coming From Nicolas Winding Refn

Nicolas Winding Refn

by Ben Travis |
Published on

You know the vibe of Enid Blyton: pastoral adventures, quaint Britishness, adorable dogs, and, well, some considerably outdated attitudes in the mix too. You also, most likely, know the vibe of Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn: neon-lit cityscapes, thrumming electro soundtracks, bursts of punishing ultra-violence, explorations of repressed masculinity. You would, rightly, think that Enid Blyton and Nicolas Winding Refn couldn’t be further down opposite ends of the storytelling spectrum. Which is why it’s all the weirder that Refn is going to be bringing several of Blyton’s Famous Five stories to the screen for the BBC.

Yes, you read that right: Nicolas Winding Refn – director of Drive, The Neon Demon, Only God Forgives, and more – is working on The Famous Five. ‘Five Go Berserk After Singing Karaoke’? ‘Five Stomp Someone’s Head In In A Lift’? ‘Five Engage In A Spot Of Cannibalism In The Name Of Fashion’? Your guess is as good as ours. What we do know is that the series will consist of three 90-minute adventures, with Winding Refn on executive producer duties (alongside Matthew Read), and British filmmaker Tim Kirkby directing. Production is already underway in southwest England.

“All my life I’ve fought vigorously to remain a child with a lust for adventure,” says Winding Refn in a statement. “By reimagining the Famous Five, I am preserving that notion by bringing these iconic stories to life for a progressive new audience, instilling the undefinable allure and enchantment of childhood for current and future generations to come.” The BBC’s Patricia Hidalgo says: “Bringing these books to life with a new reimagining of the Famous Five is a real treat for BBC audiences and a celebration of British heritage. These stories are loved around the world and bringing families together is a key part of our strategy so we hope it introduces a new generation of viewers to these wonderful adventures.”

Now, who’s up for bingeing the Pusher trilogy and Valhalla Rising as a bit of warmup?

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