the raid

Last week it was revealed that Joe Carnahan would be directing a “re-imagining” of The Raid starring Frank Grillo. Now Carnahan has begun doing press, revealing more about his Raid film.

Here is what we knew previously about The Raid remake: While the original film was set in Indonesia, Carnahan’s film will be set in Caracas, Venezuela. Carnahan in the announcement video hinted that there would be fewer antagonists and that the fighting would have to be “something no one’s ever seen.” Carnahan later clarified on Twitter that he would be also producing the film alongside original director Gareth Evans, and that his film would be a “reimagining of the same scenario” but closer in tone and feel to his films The Grey & Narc.

You can watch the entire interview with Joe Carnahan and Frank Grillo above. Here is everything we learned from the Collider interview:

  • Grillo insists they aren’t doing the Hollywood version of The Raid. Carnahan says the reason to remake The Raid is that most people beyond cinephiles have not seen the original movie. They are writing the screenplay on spec with no studio funding, although they are envisioning the film to have a budget of under $20 million. Carnahan and Grillo are taking no money upfront to make this project, betting everything on the backend (meaning they’ll be paid if the movie is a success). There is no planned start date as they are still in the script phase, but Carnahan wants to make the movie “as soon as possible.”
  • The Raid remake will not be a highly choreographed and stylized action film like Evans’ original movie or, for example, John Wick. The film’s action will uncomfortable in its level of brutality and violence. Carnahan says he wants the entire movie to feel like the “knife fight between Adam Goldberg and the German in Saving Private Ryan.”
  • The plan is to deepen the story of the two brothers at the center of this movie. The brothers become divided over their father, who “built these things that are superior and that are real soldiers, but he’s not that.” One brother believes in the father, the other doesn’t.
  • The story will focus on physically damaged special forces operation guys: “So this idea, you’re catching a guy who is compelled to go after his brother after he just got his ass kicked in a completely different operation. You’re getting a guy who’s like the walking wounded.”
  • The reason it is set in Caracas, Venezuela is because “Caracas is a madhouse,” and such a dangerous place that nobody wants to go there.
  • The Raid star Iko Uwais could appear in this reboot. Grillo, who just worked with Uwais on a film, claims Uwais reached out after the news was announced and asked if there was a role in the film for him: “Joe said maybe there’s a world where he’s one of the other guys. Who knows.”

I am not 100% sure I agree with the idea that only cinephiles have seen The Raid, and that the fact that the general public seems unwilling to watch a subtitled movie is a reason to remake it for American audiences. But I am a huge fan of Joe Carnahan’s work and believe he won’t make “The Hollywood version” of The Raid. I am sure his version of the film will have original elements, and be just as gritty and violent as the original.

Carnahan’s pitch to deepen the relationship between the brothers at the core of this story and to center this on the idea of damaged special forces operation guys is interesting. Honestly, I’m more interested to find out how this will be different than Evans’ original film beyond what is being relayed in this interview.

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