Back in 2014, an English language remake of The Raid was announced, but during early stages of development, the film became stuck in development hell. Within the process, director Patrick Hughes (Expendables 3) dropped out for reasons unknown. And Frank Grillo (Captain America: Civil War), who was also heavily associated with the project, hinted in many interviews that the remake was on again/off again, and finally off again, indefinitely.
Then surprisingly in January, Grillo announced that he and filmmaker Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces) were re-launching the remake from a newly revised script by Carnahan himself.
Now news has emerged (via Collider) that Carnahan is not only writing the remake, but also directing it. Here’s what he had to say (via Twitter): “The Raid remake will hew closer in tone and feel to The Grey and Narc. Gareth Evans is producing alongside and has given us his full blessing.” Carnahan continued with his next message: “It’s not a remake. It’s a reimagining of the same scenario. Everybody take a deep breath. We won’t disappoint you, rabid-fanboy-from-Hell.”
Evans (read our archived interview with him), the director of the original, and producer of the upcoming remake, previously expressed interest in having both Scott Adkins (Eliminators) and Michael Jai White (Falcon Rising) as potential leads. Others stars attached included Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Luke Evans, Anthony Mackie, Ethan Hawke and Taylor Kitsch.
Updates: In a recent interview with Collider, Carnahan and Grillo were very vocal about their upcoming Raid remake (they say it’s not a remake, but semantics aside, it’s a remake). And here’s the most interesting tidbits from the interview:
On the feel of the remake…
Carnahan: If our movie felt like the knife fight between Adam Goldberg and the German in Saving Private Ryan the entirety of the movie, then we’ve done exactly what we need to do.
Grillo: You want to look away but you can’t.
On the “assault” pattern in cinema…
Grillo: Many Americans, most Americans, have never seen The Raid before.
Carnahan: By the way, Smokin’ Aces is about an assault on a penthouse with a bunch of crazy people fighting their way up to the top. That was six years before The Raid was made. So it’s not like these are things that don’t interest me. I can show you a pattern. I dig that kind of an idea.
On the film’s exposure…
Grillo: And I’ll tell you something that bothers me. When people say you’re doing to do “The Hollywood Version” of The Raid –
Carnahan: Or whitewash it.
Grillo: First of all, we’re not the Hollywood version of anything. We come through the back door all the time. I’m not Tom Cruise. I’m not the Hollywood version. I’m not knocking Tom Cruise, but he’s Tom Cruise. He gets to do whatever he wants. So my point is we don’t have to do this. We can do anything we want to do. We want to do this because there’s something we see that we want to show to American audiences, and audiences globally. Many people have not seen The Raid.
On the film’s setting…
Carnahan: [It’s set in] Caracas. Because Caracas is a madhouse. It’s almost like a safehouse for bad guys, like they built this block in Caracas because this is where you come to do business and no one will f*ck with you. Because it’s such a dangerous place, nobody wants to go in there. Again, it’s heightening elements of The Raid that were already there, I’m taking these story elements and kind of weaponizing them. Just giving them a shot of steroids, because again everything is about zagging—where The Raid zigged, we’ll zag.
On Gareth Evans’ blessing…
Grillo: We’ve had two-hour conversations with Gareth [Evans]. He says, “Go make your version. I want to see your version.”
On Iko Uwais’ possible involvement…
Grillo: I did a movie with Iko… We became brothers. And he’s my boy. When he heard this, he reached out to immediately and said, “Is there a place for me in the movie?”… So maybe. Joe said maybe there’s a world where he’s one of the other guys. Who knows.
We’ll keep you updated as we hear more about The Raid remake. Stay tuned!