It was recently announced that Patrick Hughes was signed to direct the English Language remake of The Raid. Original The Raid director Gareth Evans was in Austin for South by Southwest and we landed an exclusive interview for The Raid 2: Berandal, which opens at the end of March. We’ll bring you the full interview later, but I did ask Evans what he thought of Hughes. Evans sung Hughes’ praises for Red Hill and his own hands-off approach to the remake.
“I think what worked for me was the fact that nobody questioned what I wanted to do on that, the same way I don’t think anyone should question what Patrick wants to do on that,” Evans said. “For me, in order for that film to work really well, they’ve got to let him go off into his sandbox, play around and see what he comes up with. When they suggested Patrick, I had no problem at all because he’s a super talented director. Red Hill, fucking great film. Such a great movie.”
Casting rumors abounded along with Hughes’ deal, including Chris and Liam Hemsworth for the leads. I asked Evans if casting brawny actors like them would change the action away from a martial arts emphasis.
“They’re pretty tall, right? It depends right now. Me on a personal level, I’d fucking love to see them put Scott Adkins in there. I’m just going to say that right off because I just think he’s great and I’ve wanted to work with him before. For him to be able to get a real, good fucking solid role like that in a studio film where it’s all about gearing up towards martial arts, something that he’s fully capable of, it’d be great. Michael Jai White would be great as well, all these guys. I could geek out about all the guys I want to see in these films and hopefully they get a chance.”
Evans suspects that the American The Raid will also be a martial arts film like his Indonesian original. “I don’t think the action discipline is going to veer too far away from what we did. What I hope they do is take the basic premise and then use that as a springboard for him to go off and create his own action style completely. You could still do that deconstruction of weaponry down to hand to hand combat. You could still do that, but they don’t have to follow scene by scene the same as we did. That’s what, for me, what is most refreshing about a remake of this as opposed to a remake of something where it’s all about following the characters and the plot exactly the same to the tee. This is an opportunity to take the bare bones of it, the crux of it and do something completely fresh. It’s like a second pass of doing different action sequences.”
For his own trilogy, Evans said The Raid 3 is a long way off, but he has another project for The Raid star Iko Uwais he’s excited to make in between. “I’m not touching The Raid 3 for a couple of years from now. I don’t have any plans to do The Raid 3 within the next two or three years so I’m going to take a break from that franchise for a bit. I want to do some things outside of Indonesia for like two films, then come back to Indonesia and shoot The Raid 3. I have another one I want to shoot with him first. Still in the action genre and it’s something that he needs to train for for a fair amount of time. You have to make good with some weaponry, my friend.”
We’ll have more on the U.S. The Raid remake after we beat Thor in The Hunger Games.