the raid remake

When the scrappy Indonesian martial arts thriller The Raid: Redemption became an instant action classic in 2011, it seemed inevitable that a Hollywood remake would be on its way. Lo and behold, Frank Grillo soon signed on to star in The Raid remake, and director Joe Carnahan signed on three years later. But that was in 2017, and since then, we’ve heard nary a peep about The Raid remake.

But don’t worry, Carnahan is here to assure us that The Raid remake is still happening, in a new interview where he reveals the plot details of his English-language “reimagining” of Gareth Evans‘ hit film.

In an interview with Collider, Carnahan assured that his The Raid remake was still in the works, and had even progressed so far as to have a basic narrative structure in place. Carnahan wouldn’t reveal what the story would entail, but he did tease the opening of the film, which would find Frank Grillo’s protagonist in rough shape from the beginning:

“You meet Frank’s character having just rotated back from a really, really, brutal special forces operation. He’s got soft tissue damage in his hands, and his rotator cuff is blown out, and they take fluid off his knees, and the doctors basically tell him, “Listen you’re at the razor’s edge of PTSD and you need three months of just nothing, some R&R, because you’re jacked up.’ And in that space he gets the message that his brother, who he thought had been dead for four years, is actually alive and working for a very bad guy in Caracas, and in 18 hours they’re gonna kill his brother. These forces are gonna descend and murder the bad guy and murder the brother, so do you wanna go and get your brother, who you thought is dead? Do you want that opportunity? So that’s where we start.”

If anyone could pull off leading a The Raid remake, it would be Grillo, who has carved out a niche for himself as a gruff, tough-as-nails character actor in B-action movies. He’s got an amazing physicality to his performance, and just enough bombast to pull off the role made famous by Iko Uwais, who has been widely accepted as one of the best movie martial artists working today.

But can Carnahan, best known for The A-Team and last year’s Death Wish, compete with Evans’ intense, dynamic direction? He has said before that he won’t try to, billing his film as a “reimagining,” and emphasizing the emotional stakes in his film. “”I want the entire movie to feel like the knife fight between Adam Goldberg and the German in Saving Private Ryan,” Carnahan told Collider, adding:

In every great action film there’s always an emotional quotient that you’re dealing with… You have to have a sense of stakes. For all of the tremendous excess of those last two Matrix films, which I enjoyed the hell out of, they never really got to the tension of just Keanu Reeves trying to answer a phone at the end of the first movie. There was great pathos, there was a great sense of, ‘Is he gonna make it?’ The spectacle I think outweighs the heart and soul of it, and that’s what you have to remember is you’ve gotta have that attached.”

We’ll keep you updated on any other news of The Raid remake, should it still move forward.

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