Few martial arts films in recent memory have had as much of a reverberating impact on action filmmaking as Gareth Evans‘ 2012 hit “The Raid” and its 2014 sequel. However, the impact of “The Raid” goes even further beyond that with the film’s upcoming English-language remake; the film’s screenwriter, Adam G. Simon, has recently offered up some info on the project that fans will definitely want to listen in on.
In an interview with WTF Nation Radio, Simon hinted that the original film’s plot device of having Andi (the brother of the film’s heroic cop Rama) playing one of the overlords of the film’s hellish tenement building will serve a very centralized thematic role in the remake.
“Joe just really had this cool jump-off point. Like, this really great idea about making it…You find out in the original ‘Raid’ that these two guys are brothers and it’s kind of like the by-product of this story. And shifting to kind of making it that central theme. I’ve had some of the biggest knock-down drag-out fights with some of the people that I’ve cared the most about in my life.”
Simon further elaborated that the film will not simply recreate the events of its predecessor but will follow its own path with a little hint of just what exactly that will entail:
“It’s not really a remake. Frank (Grillo) says it all the time that it’s like a re-imagining, and it is. We’ve found a way. And I’ll just say this: In any ‘Raid’, you gotta have an extraction…The thing that I can say is that, it follows the premise of what you can read online – that these guys are trapped in a building, it’s got a military aspect which the original didn’t have. In fact, it’s got a fu**ing HEAVY military aspect to it. It’s kind of the story of two brothers and the war we all wage within ourselves. You know, that Black Dog and that Light Dog that we’ve all got within us – that kind of struggle.”
Simon is the latest voice attached to “The Raid” remake to emphasize to fans of the original that this version will dance to its own drum. Director Joe Carnahan previously took to Twitter to make that point clear, and original director Gareth Evans, along with Iko and Yayan, who co-starred alongside Frank Grillo in last year’s “Beyond Skyline”, have similarly voiced their support for it, with Evans himself attached as executive producer.
The films put Indonesia on the martial arts movie map, made the nation’s indigenous martial art of Silat into all the rage in the fighting arts world, and launched stars Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, and Cecep Arif Rahman into action movie stardom. Some of their later appearances included the sci-fi hits “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Beyond Skyline“, with Iko soon to be seen in the highly anticipated martial arts ensemble, “Triple Threat“.
On top of that, the fight sequences of the Marvel-Netflix series “Daredevil” and Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” are just two examples of how much of an influence “The Raid” has had, and with Evans in talks to direct a “Deathstroke” movie for DC Films, that impact won’t be ending anytime soon. As for “The Raid” redo itself, the emphasis Simon, Grillo, and Carnahan have all placed on the film having its own identity could well lead to the re-imagining being akin to “Fist of Legend” to the original film’s “Fist of Fury” – that can only be a good thing.
Be sure to keep the English-language re-imagining of “The Raid” in your line of sight! What are your thoughts on this and how it should shape up; what’s your favorite remake to live up to a beloved original? Let us know in the comments below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. (Storm our news page and Raid our review department for more on the latest in the world of stunts, thrills and mad martial arts action!)