Gosling stars as Julian, a criminal who works at a Thai boxing club in Bangkok which is in fact a front for a drug smuggling operation. When Julian's brother is killed by an ex-cop known as the 'Angel of Vengeance', his mother Jenna (Kristin Scott Thomas), a powerful criminal herself, arrives on the scene demanding revenge. Julian is forced to confront the Angel of Vengeance and settle the score in a Thai boxing match.
As you can see, 'Only God Forgives' has one of the most original storylines of the year. Said to feature swordplay as well as Thai boxing, it's almost guaranteed to be as brutal, original and stylish as anything Refn has done before, if not more so. The only film I can think of that it sounds anything close to is Animal Kingdom - which also had a crime matriarch and dealt with themes of crime and revenge - yet on top of a crime story that isn't regergitating the same old cliches, 'Only God Forgives' has a very interesting Bangkok setting, Thai boxing and swordplay. For me personally, the eastern setting is very promising especially when we have Refn directing - his visual eye gave us a unique and genuinely stylish view of Los Angeles in Drive and I don't think it's too much to ask for the same thing here. Refn has described this as his take on the western genre - which is easy to see by the storyline based on violent confrontations - which makes the eastern setting only more interesting.
Gosling looks intense as ever as Julian, who I think will be a vastly different character to the Driver of Drive. Firstly, he's got a name. Secondly, he's part of a family and is clearly not the one calling the shots unlike his lone warrior in Drive. That role goes to Kristin Scott Thomas, who's performance as Jenna might just be one of the most interesting of the year.
Not much is known about this film at present other than the general storyline and the one picture of Ryan Gosling - the release date is unclear though it could be coming out in 2013 rather than 2012, and no poster or trailer has as of yet been released. However, production has just wrapped on the film - so maybe we'll be able to see something emerging on the internet soon in the form of poster or trailer.
Also working on the film is Cliff Martinez doing the score - hopefully he will deliver some atmospheric, unique sounding soundtracks like he did with Drive - and Larry Smith as the director of photography, who also worked with Refn on Bronson.