A Gareth Evans movie is always good news. It’s been too long since he pummeled us all about the head and neck with The Raid and The Raid 2 (and, of course, Merantau). But he’s back with a new project in the works called Apostle, and as if that’s not enough, he’s bringing badass leading man Dan Stevens along for the ride.
THR first reported that the action master will write and direct Apostle, and while it sounds like a bit of a departure, there’s plenty of opportunity for bone breaking and violence.
Described as a period piece, Apostle follows a mysterious man who travels to a secluded island searching for his sister who has been kidnapped by a religious cult. Interested already. They demand a ransom for her return, but I’m guessing they fucked with the wrong guy, as he “digs deeper into the secrets and lies upon which the commune is built.” And I imagine he also kicks the shit out of people along the way.
Then, just a day after this admittedly already fantastic news, Variety placed a cherry on top when they revealed Dan Stevens will play the mysterious man. The British actor who is about be everywhere thanks in large part to projects like Beauty and the Beast and that X-Men show Legion (and Nacho Vigalondo’s creature feature Colossal, which I’m dying to get a look at), isn’t your typical Gareth Evans leading man. He’s most widely known for Downton Abbey after all, not his martial arts prowess. But he proved his proficiency with violence and general ass-kickery in The Guest, and if I were a betting man, I’d put money on him tearing dudes apart and being super handsome while he does.
We’ve known Gareth Evans has Apostle in the works. He posted a picture of the title page of the script on Instagram a while back. But just a week ago he posted he shared this image, which certainly implies that the script is in full, working order. I don't know what "Radicalist. Conspirator. Traitor." means, but I can't wait to find out.
XYZ Films and Severn Screen will produce Apostle along with Gareth Evans’ One More One Productions. XYZ will also handle the international sales, a role they also played for The Raid and The Raid 2, and are currently filling on Headshot, which stars frequent Evans collaborator Iko Uwais. (Is it too much to ask for maybe Uwais and Yayan Ruhian to show up in Apostle, or am I getting too greedy?)
Apostle has it’s eye on a March 2017 filming start in the U.K., and I have my eye glued to this project from now until the moment I sit down in a theater to check it out.