Turns out Hardy and Refn not only had a bad first meeting, they also had a bad relationship. As Hardy recounts, he and Refn had such a bad first meeting that – they were simply incompatible – that Hardy was dropped from the project altogether. Even so, and Hardy doesn’t explain why, Refn will eventually call Hardy back, and “Bronson” will be put back into action with Hardy in the lead role.
“From conception and the first time I met the people who had the script. It belonged to another director at the time, and the producer then gave it to Vertigo. Then it went to Nicolas Winding Refn. , and he didn’t like me, I didn’t ‘dislike him, and he recommended the movie to other people. Then a year later he came back to me and I started writing to Charlie.”
When asked about their antagonistic relationship, Hardy revealed that he and Refn tried to stay professional, even when they hated each other. Not all directors are attuned to their thoughts, as anyone who knows of the infamous relationship between Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski can attest. Hardy gave no details, but he confirmed that he and Refn are, quite simply, not compatible. “[W]I just don’t make eye contact like humans do,” said Hardy. We just rubbed each other the wrong way and kept rubbing each other the wrong way. “
It was the wrong rubbing that seemed to have caused “Bronson” to be delayed a fateful year. That, and the usual behind-the-scenes rules about securing more money. As it turns out, that delay really annoyed Charles Bronson, too.
https://www.slashfilm.com/990731/how-bronson-became-a-challenging-four-year-process-for-tom-hardy/ How Bronson Became a Challenging Four-Year Process for Tom Hardy