Recently Joe Carnahan and Frank Grillo announced that they will be teaming up to produce an American remake of the hit Indonesian action film “The Raid,” and now the two have followed up that announcement with an interview with Collider. The two specifically spoke about how their project will be more of a reimagining of the source material, and will make significant changes to the story and style to the original film. All of these changes have the approval of the original film’s director, Gareth Evans, who is producing the film, and told Carnahan and Grillo after extensively discussing their project: “Go make your version. I want to see your version.”
The first major change the remake will see is the setting, as Carnahan’s version will take place in Caracas, Venezuela. The reason for this change, according to the director, is that “Caracas is a madhouse. It’s almost like a safehouse for bad guys.” While the original film took place predominantly in one building, as Iko Uwais‘s character worked his way up to the top floor to save his brother, Carnahan did not specify whether or not his film would place a greater emphasis on the external environment of his world, though he does seem very particular about why they chose to set the film where it is.
In regards to Uwais, Grillo discussed how while they are definitely up for getting Uwais involved, it’s still an uncertainty at this point.
“I’m friends with Iko,” Grillo said, sharing how the two actors had bonded over filming the still unreleased sci-fi film “Beyond Skyline.” “When he heard this, he reach out to me immediately and said, ‘Is there a place for me in this movie?'”
Perhaps the most notable change Carnahan is seeking to make is the style of the film’s action. While “The Raid” has been celebrated for it’s meticulously jaw-dropping martial arts, Carnahan explains that his adaptation will feature action which is more “grueling and tough,” fights which feel more like a struggle than a choreographed dance.
“There’s a level of brutality, a level of violence,” Carnahan says. “If our movie felt like the knife fight between Adam Goldberg and the German in ‘Saving Private Ryan’ the entirety of the movie, then we’ve done exactly what we need to do.”
While it is interesting that Carnahan is trying to put his own original stamp on the project, it’s hard to imagine a film titled “The Raid” that doesn’t feature top-notch martial arts combat. Both Carnahan and Grillo stress that this project is not a Hollywood attempt at whitewashing or solely adapting a cherished, overlooked film for financial gain. The duo stated that their film will be made for only $20 million, and that they are not receiving any money up front.
Carnahan confessed that he hopes this convinces audiences that this isn’t just a money grab. “If that doesn’t work and if that doesn’t satisfy people’s cynicism, then I got nothing else.”