Gareth Evans’ The Raid 2 opened this year, and the filmmaker intends to finish his trilogy of crime, corruption, and extremely-violent martial arts fights, by releasing a third installment at some point in the future. Before that happens, though, it looks as though Screen Gems’ Americanized remake of the original Raid (a.k.a. The Raid: Redemption) might hit theaters – even now that the latter’s filming start date has been pushed back.
Hollywood makeovers of cult foreign movies – as a general rule – start out as being controversial, when it comes to the initial reception from the cinema-loving community; even once word of mouth starts to change course prior to the film’s release, there’s no guarantee that all the attention will translate into big box office business, though (see: Let the Right One In remake, Let Me In barely making a blip at the box office, despite solid reviews). Which is to say, casting can make a significant difference, when it comes to which “American-izations” of foreign titles fly high – and which ones crash and burn, financially (see: Spike Lee’s Oldboy, for the latter).
Screen Gems has reportedly pushed back the production start date for The Raid remake from the originally-planned September 2014 to the first quarter of 2015; as is speculated in Variety‘s report on this new development, it’s possible that the delay is meant to allow the film’s producers more time for “seeking a bigger name.” The remake has been in the works for a year or so now, but has yet to receive an official green-light; that’s expected to change soon, seeing how it already has a script in place - written by Brad Ingelsby (Out of the Furnace) – along with a director attached, in the shape of Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3).
Variety‘s sources claim that such actors as Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight), Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6), and the Captain America: The Winter Soldier costars Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo, were among the front-runners to join the Raid remake’s cast, prior to filming being pushed back. The aforementioned stars are all quite respected and (mostly) fairly in-demand right now, so the change in shooting start date could result in some of these actors no longer being available to work the project into their schedule. Of course, Variety‘s sources also caution that no cast offers have been made yet, so best to not go speculating too far (in either direction).
The Hughes-directed Raid will revolve around a U.S. DEA task force; according to the director, the remake won’t attempt “to recreate [the original] film beat for beat” - by aiming to offer its own version of bone-crushing fisticuffs instead, with assistance from some of the fight choreographers that worked on Evans’ original movie. This August’s Expendables 3 will be Hughes’ first time working within the studio-backed action movie arena; thus, it might be best to postpone the conversation about expectations for his Raid remake, until we see what the director is able to bring to the table on the next Expendables installment.
We’ll keep you posted on development for The Raid remake.