Home Entertainment The Raid 3: Gareth Evans reveals detailed plans for unmade threequel

The Raid 3: Gareth Evans reveals detailed plans for unmade threequel

6 min read

Writer/director Gareth Evans’ two The Raid films are just over four hours of some of the greatest martial arts action ever captured on screen. They are absolute modern-day classics. This is universal fact, not an opinion. And with massive critical acclaim and a ravenous fanbase, you would think that the Welsh-born Evans would have kept that ball rolling with another chapter in the Indonesian martial arts franchise. Except, it’s been six years since star Iko Uwais’ Rama staggered bloodily out of frame in The Raid 2 and there’s been next to no word about a possible third film.

But as Evans revealed in a recent podcast discussion with Empire, he actually had started work on The Raid 3. At least as far as breaking down the story goes. A story that would not have seen Uwais return though.

I couldn’t fathom of another fucking reason why he would put his life at risk and separate himself from his fucking wife and kid again. I was like, it can’t be about Rama. It just can’t, because if he does something to pull himself away from his poor fucking wife and kid again, I’d be like, “Hmm, you sort of deserve to die now really. Take some responsibility and be a father for a change!”

Okay, so no Rama. This makes perfect sense given the character’s final bit of dialogue in the entire film is “I’m done”, which Evans describes as “a very convenient last line of dialogue to have.” But without the breakout star of The Raid movies, just who or what will this new film focus on? Here Evans has actually put it in a lot of work already, and gave VERY detailed breakdown of just how The Raid 3 would have played out had he made it. And just like how The Raid 2 expanded this cinematic world from a single building to the wider city of Jakarta, the third film would have done the same.

The story was going to go back in time to the moment in The Raid 2 when the Goto Gang, the Japanese gang, are having a meeting, and Goto tells his right-hand man to take care of it, wipe out every corrupt cop and politician that they have on the books and start fresh. The Raid 3 would begin with Rama coming out of that building after having killed everybody and saying ‘No, I’m done’. He walks away to [police officer] Bunawar, who’ll be waiting for him in his car, he gets in and drives away. And you stay with the Japanese gang, who are like, ‘What the fuck do we do now? Everyone’s dead, we’ve got no-one to kill.’ They get into their car, and as they’re driving along all of a sudden this other car rocks up alongside them and just blitzes them, and the cars crash. Goto, his son, and his right-hand man are the only remaining survivors from that attack, and it cuts to credits and says ‘The Raid 3’.

Then it would jump back in time. The idea was that the right-hand man, after being told to kill off all the politicians and cops and wipe the clean slate, would call back to Tokyo to the big huge boss, and be like, ‘Goto’s going fucking nuts. This is fucking crazy, what do I do?’ The call from HQ is, ‘Keep him still, keep him close, we’ll send people to take care of it, and if you do that for us, you can take over his turf.’ The attack goes wrong – it’s a kill squad from Japan who have turned up and taken out the Gotos. Goto has no idea that this right-hand man has betrayed him and set him up for the ambush.

That’s already quite the setup, but Evans continued, explaining how the action would have shifted from the concrete jungle of the first two films to a real jungle this time.

They go off into hiding, all the way to the jungles of West Java. Goto arranges to meet up with this old mafia boss (played by) Christine Hakim, who has trained killers in her jungle retreat. She’s providing protection for Goto because they go way back, she’s the one who introduced him to Jakarta in the first place. The idea is this Japanese kill squad that’s used to the streets of Tokyo suddenly have to deal with the terrain of a jungle-hunt, a bit like Predator in a way. Christine’s militia, these guerrilla kids, would be taking care of this Japanese intrusion on their land. I didn’t work out the whole thing, but at some point Goto’s son would have got killed, he would have realised that it was the right-hand man who betrayed him all along, and they’d have some real gnarly tribal way of dealing with him. And Goto and this guerrilla gang of Indonesian killers would then go back to Tokyo in order to fucking take care of the people that ordered to kill him.

Damn. That actually sounds incredible! There is something that needs to be pointed out though. The Raid was this very tight blitz of action, but its follow-up was a sprawling crime story. Some people really enjoyed this escalation, but others didn’t like it. And given the plot description above, you would think that a potential The Raid 3 would increase that sprawl. However, Evans actually claims that he was aiming for a lean 95-minutes, which he knows would not have been to the liking of some.

I definitely think it would have pissed off an awful lot of people. So maybe now they know what I had planned, people will be like, ‘You know what, don’t worry about The Raid 3, we’re good!

I’m one of those people that really enjoyed the escalation, and I’m not good though. Not because of a slimmed-down runtime, but because I really want to see this movie now. It sounds absolutely badass. So what happened though? Why didn’t Evans make The Raid 3 back then? Well, initially he planned to after working on Blister, an action production he spent 18-months of development time on only for it to fall apart. And it was that failure prompted him to switch gears for a bit.

Before I knew it, I was five years down the line, I’d made Apostle, we were starting to get production going on Gangs Of London. I couldn’t see myself going back out to make The Raid 3. My interests had moved on to other projects. You work with other people, you meet other people and want to work with them again, you want to try different things, you find a story that suddenly captures your attention and that’s the thing you want to do next. Things get offered to you that are hard to pass up on.

While I wasn’t as hot on Apostle (it’s good, but not great), my hype levels are currently through the roof for the upcoming Gangs of London. Yes, it’s nowhere close to being a stand-in for The Raid 3, but right now I’ll take any Gareth Evans magic that I can. And tonight, and probably a few more times for the foreseeable future, I’ll probably have very vivid and violent fanboy dreams about Japanese death squads in a jungle in Southeast Asia.

Last Updated: April 24, 2020

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