About this deal
Prior to beginning principal photography, Refn went to the 2010 Cannes Film Festival to sell the rights to Drive and released promotional posters for the film.    In November 2010, FilmDistrict acquired North American distribution rights.  The owners were so eager to get their hands on Drive, they started negotiating to buy it before seeing any footage, believing it could appeal to people who enjoy a genre movie, as well as the arthouse crowd.  The film had a release date of September 16, 2011, in the United States.  
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Rocchi, James (September 14, 2011). "Nicholas Winding Refn's Low-Slung '80's Crime Drama Drive has a Dark Majesty". The Playlist. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013 . Retrieved February 20, 2013.
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Sean Fennessey (September 12, 2011). "The GQ&A: Drive Director Nicolas Winding Refn". GQ. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012 . Retrieved September 9, 2012. Foundas, Scott (Summer 2012). "Anger Management". DGA Quarterly. Archived from the original on August 27, 2012 . Retrieved August 22, 2012. Yes, Google Docs is a free platform. That’s one of the reasons many writers use it to create a template for various needs. Can I access my manuscript anytime?
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Complex magazine criticized the film for whitewashing the character of Irene, who was a Latina in the source novel.  Movieline 's Stephanie Zacharek rated the film 9.5 out of 10, complimenting the film's action and writing that it "defies all the current trends in mainstream action filmmaking. The driving sequences are shot and edited with a surgeon's clarity and precision. Refn doesn't chop up the action to fool us into thinking it's more exciting than it is." She also admired Refn's skill in handling the film's violence, and the understated romance between Gosling and Mulligan.  Drive was Roger Ebert's seventh best film of 2011. In praising the film, he wrote, "Here is a movie with respect for writing, acting, and craft. It has respect for knowledgeable moviegoers." Like Zacharek, Ebert admired the film's action sequences, which were practically made and did not rely on CGI effects.   Waxman, Sharon (July 21, 2011). " Drive Director Winding Refn: 'Casting Is Like Sex'; and Guillermo del Toro Swears Like a Sailor". Reuters . Retrieved May 22, 2017.
Before shooting the head-smashing scene, Refn spoke to Gaspar Noé and asked him how he had done a similar scene in his film Irréversible (2002).  Crossing the line from romance to violence, the scene begins with the Driver and Irene kissing tenderly. What they share is really a goodbye kiss.  The Driver becomes a kind of "werewolf,"  violently stomping the hit man's head in. Irene sees the Driver in a new light.