In today’s world of overblown action sequences and overdone visual effects, it’s rare for an action film to bring something truly fresh and different to the table. However, according to many film fans, writer/director Gareth Evans Indonesian-language release The Raid: Redemption accomplished just that.

The film currently stands at an impressive 85% Fresh rating on (read our own Kofi Outlaw’s glowing review) and earned nearly four times its $1.1 million production budget in domestic theaters. Given its success (and Evans’ ambitious approach to capturing its many action set pieces), it came as little surprise when the filmmaker announced that a sequel, subtitled Berandal, was in the works. We’ve already gotten a glimpse of the film, via its first trailer, but now U.S. fans know exactly when they can catch the next chapter of The Raid saga at their local theater.

Sony Pictures Classics has announced that The Raid 2 will storm its way into theaters in the United States on March 28, following its world premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in January. Evans will return to write and direct the film, with Iko Uwais back starring as Rama. As previously reported, The Raid 2 will pick up right where the first film ended, sending Rama undercover to investigate the corruption within his own police force and broadly expanding the film’s scope in the process.

Evans has indicated that Berandal – now the middle chapter in a proposed Raid trilogy – was the film he first intended to make, before deciding that the budget was too steep at the time. Now that The Raid: Redemption has proven successful, the filmmaker will be able to expand on the intense and bloody fight scenes and intriguing criminal underworld he has created, presumably with a much larger budget at his disposal. Plus, fans can expect more memorable and imposing characters like the first film’s Mad Dog (Yayan Ruhian). Take, for example, the addition of “Hammer Girl.”

While the American remake of The Raid: Redemption remains in development and Evans himself is slowly making the move to English-language action films, fans of the original film will no doubt be counting the days until its much-anticipated sequel makes its way into theaters this coming spring. Here’s hoping The Raid 2 can match (or even exceed) the thrill of its predecessor.

Will you be seeing The Raid 2 when it arrives in domestic theaters in March? What do you think Rama will be up against next?

518005917 3 725 498 The Raid 2 Gets a 2014 Release Date

The Raid 2: Berandal hits U.S. theaters on March 28, 2014.

Source: Sony Pictures Classics