"A triumph of kicks, punches & unrelenting thrills" is how we summarized Gareth Evans' movie "The Raid" after we saw it at the Sundance Film Festival last month. But we're not the only ones taken with the film. Riding a huge wave of buzz, and acquired by Sony Pictures Classics for release later this year, the film is poised to become a breakout action sensation. And good news for fans — even more ass-kicking is on the way.
Collider caught up with Evans in Park City, and he shared with them details on a sequel he's planning for the movie. Using the momentum he now has, Evans reveals he's actually taken an old project he was working on and found a way to link it to the world of "The Raid" in order to get it made. With the working title "Berandal" (which means "thug" in Indonesian) it may wind up being the middle chapter of a trilogy.
"I told you earlier about a film that we tried to get up off the ground and couldn’t get done. While I was developing 'The Raid,' I was looking at ways to kind of link those two scripts together because we had done all this choreography on that first film, we were like ready to go we just needed the finance to pull the trigger on it. Because I didn’t want to just abandon that project, I started to look at ways we could link the two together. So the one problem I had with that original script was that the lead role didn’t have an interesting enough backstory," Evans elaborated. "As I was thinking about it, I thought ‘Well if I make this a continuation of the story from 'The Raid,' it’ll work much better, and it’ll kind of add more ideas and add more different elements to it,’ so it’s actually gonna be the sequel to 'The Raid.' We’re in a position now where we can finance that movie, which is great [laughs]. So yeah, it’s a big relief now. For three years that’s been the itch I couldn’t scratch, so I’m kind of dying to kind of get stuck in and do that film next. That’ll be part two. Part three [will be] further down the line. A lot further down the line.”
The budget for "The Raid" was a remarkably slim $1 million, and the sequel is being financed for around $3 million. So what will you get for that money? Well, Evans is planning to take the action stakes up a notch with each progressive entry and describes what we're likely to see. “For my first movie ['Merantau'] I kind of wanted to play around with how to do martial arts scenes, for the second movie I wanted to include gunplay and martial arts ['The Raid'], and the third one, for 'The Raid' sequel, I want to bring car chase elements to it as well. So we have like a cool fight scene where you go inside a car, fighting against four people as it’s speeding along a one-way.”
Jesus Christ, our pulse is already racing. You'll soon get to witness what the hype is all about. "The Raid" hits theaters on March 23rd.