The Raid director Gareth Evans has revealed his pitch for the unmade third movie. The Raid came out of nowhere in 2011 to blow away action movie fans. The movie’s simple storyline sees an Indonesian S.W.A.T team raid a high-rise building filled with criminals; they soon become trapped inside and have to fight their way to the top, floor by floor. The movie’s bloody, muscular fight sequences and lean narrative made it an instant cult favorite, and it wasn’t long before a sequel was announced.
The Raid 2 upped the ante considerably; the action was more epic and the storyline much more complex. The movie again received rave reviews, but while director Gareth Evans announced plans for a third chapter to round off the story, he first wanted to focus on other projects. His new Netflix project is Apostle, a folk horror starring Dan Stevens, and whilst promoting the movie he broke the hearts of countless fans of The Raid by announcing he’d lost interest in making a third entry.
Around the time The Raid 2 was released Evans revealed he had a concept in mind, which would actually jump off from a plot point in the second movie. Now in a new interview with JoBlo, Evans reveals the concept that would have driven the story.
I knew what I wanted to do with The Raid 3, I knew what that story was going to be. If I was ever going to make it, it really had to have happened after we made The Raid 2. The storyline was going to pick up - I'll give you a little bit of it - if you were watching The Raid 2 and rewound from the ending about 15-20 minutes back to when Goto gives instructions to his right-hand man to go kill the police, kill the politicians, 'kill everyone that we work with, we're going to start fresh,' that was going to be the first scene of The Raid 3. It was going to be more about the yakuza than it was going to be about Rama; Rama was not really going to feature in that storyline much at all, it was going to be about the bosses in Japan realizing that someone in Jakarta that represented them started to fuck with the politicians and the police in a country they don't belong in. It was going to be the fallout from that.
Despite receiving mostly positive notices, some critics and fans complained of The Raid 2’s length, which came in close to two and a half hours. Evans says the third movie would have been a leaner, meaner entry like the original. He also feels the momentum needed to make the movie happen is gone now, and its time for him to move on.
It was going to be a 95 minutes, 100 minutes, sort of... escape into the jungles of Indonesia type of thing. But it really needed to be made at that period of time. Four years, five years later to go back and try to recreate that, it felt a bit disingenuous. I made three martial arts films in a row, I wanted to explore other things first. It was always a cool idea, but it stopped being really special for me. The Raid, it gave me an awful lot that I'm very appreciative about, but that adventure is kind of over now.
Evans worked on the first two Raid movies back to back, so it’s understandable he wanted to take a step away and work on new projects. While fans might be upset The Raid 3 is unlikely to happen, it’s better than Evans pushing ahead with a movie he no longer feels a pressing urge to make. It’s also somewhat surprising to hear the franchise’s leading man Rama (Iko Uwais) would have been essentially a side character in the final instalment. Joe Carnahan is developing an American remake of The Raid with Frank Grillo lined up to star.
With The Raid series now officially over for him, it will be interesting to see what Evans’ next movie project will be. He was in talks for a solo Deathstroke movie, though he recently admitted talks for that project came to nothing. He’s currently working on a ten-part, action-packed TV show called Gangs Of London. The show will feature the violent struggles of a number of rival gangs seeking to take control when a power vacuum leads to all-out war.