When I first began writing on Cinematical, it was like the Year of Hugh Jackman where he had signed onto every movie being made in the near future. It was a heady time. I think he was even going meta, and making a movie about an actor who agreed to develop a lot of movies. But they all seem to have drifted into limbo and endless pre-production, and now they're being reassembled with new people and new directors. One of these is Drive, a thriller that was to be directed by Neil Marshall, and would have had Jackman playing a getaway driver.

But according to Empire, Drive has shifted gears. Now Nicolas Winding Refn is in the director's chair, and Ryan Gosling is in the driver's seat. Refn was relatively tight-lipped about the project, saying only that he hoped to shoot it next, and that it would be filmed in L.A. As to what happened to Jackman and Marshall is anyone's guess. Creative differences? Schedule conflict?

Gosling tends to favor very serious and dramatic fare, so an action thriller would be an interesting change-up for him. Or it could indicate a shift in the project's tone. The film is based on James Sallis' novel, which is a very quirky, dark, and existential sort of thriller. The nameless protagonist is a controlled and gentle guy, but is dangerous when pushed. It's a very Gosling sort of role. It's also the kind of role Jackman should take, but seems to never land or keep. Drive will probably wind up being something brilliant with Refn and Gosling, and a bitter "What if?" for Marshall and Jackman.