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Everything COLLIDER knows so far about 'Copenhagen Cowboy'

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COLLIDER - OLIVIA HEBERT writes….Nordic noir thriller Copenhagen Cowboy is the latest Danish mystery set to enthrall audiences everywhere. Nicolas Winding Refn, the creative mind behind 2011's Drive starring Ryan Gosling and 2016's The Neon Demon with Elle Fanning, is the series creator and director of Copenhagen Cowboy. It is his first Danish language project since the end of the Pusher trilogy in 2005, which introduced the world to the talented Mads Mikkelsen and cemented Refn's status as an auteur film director. Speaking about the project, Refn has said, "With Copenhagen Cowboy, I am returning to my past to shape my future by creating a series, an expansion of my constantly evolving alter-egos, now in the form of my young heroine, Miu.”

There's no telling where Refn will take this story, but with all the juicy tidbits he's revealed so far, it's hard not to be intrigued. Read on for what we know so far about Copenhagen Cowboy.

Copenhagen Cowboy first premiered at Venice Film Festival on September 9, 2022, and will reach the small screen soon. Eager viewers should make sure to mark their calendars for January 5, 2023, Netflix's release date for the series. Whether you decide to space it out or binge all the episodes in one sitting, all six episodes will be on Netflix for your viewing pleasure on the release date.

Before Refn, auteur filmmakers like Martin Scorsese have turned to Netflix to bankroll some of their most ambitious projects that most traditional studios have been too afraid to take a risk on. Netflix has reportedly been a staunch supporter of Refn's creative vision, and according to Refn, this collaboration is the first of many to come. Of his creative partnership with Netflix, Refn has said: "Collaborating with Netflix and bringing this show to life has been an absolutely wonderful experience on all levels. I not only perceive them as my partners with many future adventures to come, but also as my friends. The new term has been born: Netflix Winding Refn.”

Released on September 4, 2022, the first sneak peek is visually striking and unsettling, introducing viewers to Miu (Angela Bundalovic of Netflix's The Rain) as she descends deeper and deeper into the neon-lit playground of Copenhagen's crime bosses. The first visual is of Miu, swathed in shades of blue and red, lighting a match, signaling her desire to send the criminal underground up in flames. Then we see mysterious ominous morgues, dark, dreary pig pens, and a strange girl in a pouffy, pink dress. Different gangs confront Miu with sharp knives, guns, and hand-to-hand combat. What lies ahead for our heroine, Miu, remains to be seen.

The second trailer was released on November 23, 2022, and revealed more of the plot than the previous sneak peek. We first meet Miu as she watches over the glittering Copenhagen cityscape with palpable anger bubbling beneath the surface. The hammering beat of '80s synths serves as the soundtrack to her quest for vengeance. Driven, doe-eyed, and clad in blue, Miu searches for answers and contends with dangerous threats in the form of mysterious street gangs, slippery hoodlums, and sleazy kingpins. Throughout the trailer, the only voice we hear is of longtime Refn collaborator Zlatko Buric (Triangle of Sadness). In a voiceover, he alludes to Miu possessing mysterious, supernatural abilities, "I don't know what you are. Or what you are capable of. But people around you die. Either that or they get new life from you."

The criminals that meet Miu are wary of what she is, whether she's an angel, devil, or something in-between. Her motives are unpredictable, but as she weasels her way into their good graces and later confronts them for their sins, it's clear that the only thing Miu wants is to kick ass and take names. Mercy is the last thing on her agenda.

Refn executive produced and directed the series under his own production company called byNWR. Lene Børglum and Christina Bostofte Erritzøe will serve as producers alongside executive producers Liv Corfixen (Pusher) and Matthew Newman. Sara Isabella Jönsson, Johanne Algren, and Mona Masri wrote all six episodes. The captivating neon-noir cinematography is courtesy of Magnus Nordenhof Jønck.

Dubbed a "poetic neo-noir" by Refn and regarded as his foray into the superhero genre, Copenhagen Cowboy is many things at once. Throughout the six episodes directed by Refn, Copenhagen Cowboy will follow Miu and her quest for vengeance as she navigates her way around the seedy world of Copenhagen's criminal underground. Based on what we know so far, this is what the plot appears to be: a lifetime of enslavement as a human good luck charm, Miu hunts down her nemesis, Rakel, with the help of supernatural abilities. Rakel betrayed her long ago, and now it's time for her to pay, but that's if Miu can find her. Anyone that stands in Miu's way is an obstacle, and she won't rest until she finally gets her bloody satisfaction.

Besides Angela Bundalovic playing Miu, Refn has cast a colorful gang of actors in Copenhagen Cowboy. A lot of them are relative newcomers while others are acclaimed Danish actors. Nicolas Winding Refn's daughter Lola Corfixen stars as Rakel, Miu's nemesis who once betrayed her but has since gone missing. Most notably, Zlatko Buric plays kingpin Miroslav. Meanwhile, Li li Zhang plays a knife-wielding badass, Mor Hulda, who works at a casino, and Andreas Lykke Jørgensen plays Niklas, an odd, unsettling man who lives with pigs. The series also stars Jason Hendil-Forssell, Dragana Milutinovic, Hok Kit Cheng, Emilie Xin Tong Han, Shang Preben Madsen, Maria Erwolter, and Valentina Dejanonvic.