Gareth Evans’ bananas 2011 Indonesian film, The Raid, is one of the greatest modern action movies. Grim, gritty, and brutal, it introduced the world-at-large to the prodigious talents of Iko Uwais and marked it’s helmer as a true auteur of bone-breaking violence. And because it’s subtitled, an American remake has kicked around ever since. A remake of The Raid has been an on-again-off-again proposition, but it’s apparently very much on again.
One of the last updates we heard from a couple years ago was that The Raid remake lost its star, director, and distributor. That was in 2015, and since then there have been rumblings, but nothing super substantial. At least until now.
XYZ Films released this video on Twitter, which has some things to say:
Okay, XYZ has been on board to produce since the beginning. Screen Gems was in line to distribute, but they’re the ones who dropped out a while back. This definitely looks like things are back on, however.
Frank Grillo, who is one of the best down-and-dirty action stars working right now has, likewise, always been attached in some capacity. Taylor Kitsch was reportedly on board to play the lead, and he’s the one who dropped out earlier. Which I have to say is a good thing. Grillo has the physicality to pull off crazy ass fight scenes, whereas Kitsch was a dubious addition.
It now appears that Joe Carnahan has replaced Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) as director. He even put out this tweet that indicates the general aesthetic The Raid USA is going for:
THE RAID remake will hew closer in tone & feel to THE GREY and NARC.@Ghuevans is producing alongside & has given us his full blessing.— Joe Carnahan (@carnojoe) February 15, 2017
To be honest, all of this sounds pretty awesome and it's all a definite upgrade. I dig Joe Carnahan, I dig that they’re going to try to put their own spin on the story rather than do a straight-up copy, and I’ll watch anything where Frank Grillo gets to pummel dudes. Gareth Evans being on board as a producer is a great sign. And if you’re into gritty tales, The Grey and NARC aren’t bad comparison points for a movie about a SWAT team invading a crime lord’s stronghold and battling their way up a high-rise slum to the top floor.
Put all of these elements together, I’ll watch the hell out of whatever happens. I still don’t know why it needs to be a remake and not just it’s own story—it seems unnecessary to remake one of the greatest action movies ever—but it appears this is happening regardless of how I feel. Weird that they didn’t check with me first, but I'm definitely going to watch how this develops.