Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston
Plot: A mysterious man who has multiple jobs as a garage mechanic, a Hollywood stuntman and a getaway driver finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.
Driver references the fable of The Scorpion and the Frog: the frog agrees to carry the scorpion across the river; the scorpion stings the frog, saying "it's my nature" and both drown. Driver can be seen as The Frog of the story - he drives/carries criminals (scorpions) around in his car, but is inevitably dragged into their destructive world (stung) leading to everybody's downfall. Driver's jacket has a scorpion on the back, just as the frog carried the scorpion on its back.
Hugh Jackman was initially cast in the lead role
Ron Perlman won the role of Nino after explaining to Nicolas Winding Refn that he wanted to play "a Jewish man who wants to be an Italian gangster because that's what [he is], a Jewish boy from N.Y."
The name of the main character is never revealed. He is always referred to as "Kid" or "Driver." Even in the end credits, he is listed as "Driver."
Albert Brooks was in character when he met Nicolas Winding Refn, pinning him against a wall and speaking in a threatening manner. Brooks shaved his eyebrows for his role to make his character more emotionless.
For the elevator scene, Nicolas Winding Refn spoke to Gaspar Noé and asked him how he did the head-smashing scene in Irreversible (2002).
Irene and Standard were originally a Hispanic couple before Carey Mulligan was cast.
Ryan Gosling did a number of stunts himself, after completing a stunt driving car crash course.
Although this is a quiet crime thriller, the trailers gave the impression that it was a car chase film like the "Fast and Furious" films. One woman even sued because she did not get that sort of film.
Nicolas Winding Refn moved into a Los Angeles home during filming and insisted that the cast members and screenwriter move in with him. They would work on the script and film all day, then watch films, edit or drive at night. Refn requested that the editing suite be placed in his home as well.
Locations were picked by Nicolas Winding Refn while Ryan Gosling drove him around the city at night.
Nicolas Winding Refn originally auditioned porn stars for the role of Blanche. He was unable to find anyone with the necessary acting talent. After meeting with Christina Hendricks, he decided to cast her, feeling her "powerhouse" persona would click with the character.
Ryan Gosling's character wears a jacket with a scorpion on the back. Gosling also happens to be a Scorpio (born November 12, 1980).
when Ron Perlman is getting beat up on the beach, he actually shattered his kneecap when a wave hit him, and his screams of pain are real.
According to Nicolas Winding Refn, the head stomp scene was severely edited because the ratings board thought it was "too violent."
Nicolas Winding Refn reportedly filmed a scene where the Driver actually dies after he and Bernie stab each other. It was said to be used during an early test screening.
Bernie asks to meet Driver at Sherman Way. Albert Brooks (Bernie) plays Marlin in Finding Nemo (2003) and has to get to "P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney"
In an interview for this film, Ryan Gosling stated that 'He always wanted to act out a superhero role, but the good ones were taken.' hence using the Driver character as a sort of Superhero, giving him the Scorpion jacket as a costume.