Now I’m not one to wish ill on others, but when greeted by the news last night that the English-language remake of The Raid may be falling apart, I couldn’t help but think “Good”. Gareth Evans’ 2011 martial arts magnus opus is one of the greatest and most brutal action movies of the modern era, and really, nobody needs to see a Hollywood-ized, watered down version of its bloody brilliance.
And now it looks like nobody might, as Tracking Board is reporting that the production is in serious trouble as director Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3), as well as production studio Screen Gems – and subsequently distributor Sony – have seemingly both pulled out, leaving only co-production studio XYZ Films holding the bag. There’s no reasons given as to why they’ve departed, but it seems that XYZ are pushing ahead regardles and are now on the search for a new distribution partner.
Last we heard, the remake had Taylor Kitsch and Frank Grillo attached to star, but Kitsch has since departed as well. Whether Grillo still remains onboard is unconfirmed at the moment, but either way – and no serious disrespect intended – those two actors are sure as hell no Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim, the two Indonesian martial arts superstars that led the original film. That film basically saw them as the last two members of a special police task force who get sent into a high-rise building occupied completely by criminals, only to be ratted out and ambushed and forced to fight their way back down 30 floors of highly armed hoodlums who are all trying to kill them.
It’s said that the remake will stick to the same general premise, but will take place in the near future in Malaysia and involves a SWAT team infiltrating a seemingly impenetrable safe house occupied by a vicious drug lord. The script has apparently undergone several rewrites, with contributions made by Evans (who still acts as producer), Brad Ingelsby (Run All Night), Erich and Jon Hoeber (RED) and more. The remake’s release date has also been postponed several times, which may have led to Hughes exiting as he had already lined up his next project, The Storm Warning, a true-story drama about the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race disaster.
In my opinion, that may have been a good call on his part, because even if this production wasn’t dead in the water – which it seemingly appears to be – I do not want to be the filmmaker to try and replicate Evans’ much beloved masterpiece. That’s not the type of pressure that any director wants or needs.
So what do you guys think? Should they just throw in the towel on this one or do you actually want to see if Hollywood can cook up anything that matches this insanity?
Last Updated: October 27, 2015