Albert Brooks to Play the Villain in Drive

It was only a few days ago we reported that Carey Mulligan would be riding shotgun in a film adaptation of James Sallis’s slim noir novel, Drive.

To be directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (the Pusher trilogy, Vahalla Rising) from a script penned by Hossein Amini (Killshot and the upcoming Jack Ryan reboot Moscow), the film is about a Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) who doubles as a getaway driver by night. Mulligan is set to play the love interest and Bryan Cranston (TV’s Breaking Bad) is assumed to be Driver’s (that’s how the character is identified in the novel) mentor.

As for the bad guy, Albert Brooks takes a break from being a funnyman to play the heavy.

Brooks as a villain? No way – who would buy that? Well he did voice the evil EPA boss in The Simpsons Movie so that’s a start.

Deadline reports that Brooks will play “Bernie Rose, a transplanted New York mobster who comes to L.A. and is not to be messed with.” Brooks is no stranger to crime thrillers, having played Don Cheadle’s bitch in Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight. While he wasn’t memorable in his stint as “Dick the Ripper” at least he’s familar with the genre.

Brooks is an outside-the-box casting decision by Refn who helped elevate the talent of Tom Hardy in Bronson.

Drive will begin shooting around L.A. in September.

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