I really like Frank Grillo, so I am worried that the headline here sounds harsh and nasty towards him. It’s not meant to be, its meant to be aimed at the ridiculous idea of remaking The Raid, the perfect action film.
Thankfully the shitty idea was put on hold in May 2014, with plans for it to begin shooting early this year, but again (and thankfully) that has still not happened. In fact, its not looking very promising at the moment, which is great news for fans of Gareth Evans’ masterful two Raid films. The general feeling around the movie world (from the fans anyway) is that this remake is unnecessary, but Hollywood want a English language version, so sadly it will happen at some point.
In an interview with SlashFilm, Grillo explained that the issue with The Raid remake is casting. Before we get to what Grillo said, it was a year ago that Taylor Kitsch was offered the lead role: presumably playing a Westernized version of Rama (played inch perfectly by Iko Uwais). Turns out that hasn’t worked, so says Grillo:
“‘The Raid’ was a go movie and there was one character, the critical character, that they were just not happy with. There’s not a lot of 30-something guys out there that… there’s a lot of training, a lot of martial arts training. They weren’t going to remake ‘The Raid,’ which is a beloved film, if they couldn’t find a guy who could find the physical stuff and they hadn’t been able to do that. So I think we’re going to come back around after I’m done with the second 10 [episodes of “Kingdom”]. We’re going to come back around to that.”
Just leave it, for heavens sake.
While I am against the idea, there is one thing going for the remake, and that is that the choreographers from The Raid will be working on the new version, so expect the same level of violence. It is doubtful Hughes will come remotely close to matching the awesomeness of Evans’ jaw dropping filming style, so I just think is a bad idea period.
Director Patrick Hughes spoke with ComingSoon last year to give some clues as to what we can expect from his version of the film:
“We have a really, really interesting take on that film. One thing, obviously the original just blew my mind and I was fortunate enough to catch up with Gareth Evans in LA at the premiere of ‘The Raid 2.’ The thing that blew my mind with that film was the aesthetics and the fight sequences but also the simplicity of the premise, and there’s so much you can do with that. So our take on it is really interesting and I feel like if anything what I want to do is elevate the emotional aspect of it, and I think those are my favorite action films of all time when you can balance the action and the emotion, and what he did with his first ‘Raid’ was phenomenal”
I think the aspect of the remake that is probably worrying everyone is that a shot for shot remake just will not work. Thankfully Hughes has other ideas for his version, but I still don’t want it to get made:
“Certainly, we’re not there to recreate that film beat for beat, with the set up we’re following a DEA task team, which was implemented by the Bush administration after September 11th when they realized that terrorism and the drug trade were so closely aligned. So they set up a DEA task team that’s six units and they work across borders and sort of act like Navy SEALS. You never read about it, you never hear about it, but they go on these missions. So that’s a really interesting take and a really nice premise and also what’s interesting on this take on it is the clash of cultures and the clash of martial arts, the fighting styles, which is something that’s going to be a lot of fun when we’ve really started pre-vizzing stuff”