Screen Gems Planning Remake of Indonesian TIFF Winner 'The Raid'
It just won the TIFF Midnight Madness Audience Award, is coming out of the fest with some huge buzz, so what do you do next? Fire up a remake, of course! I heard rumors about this during the festival, but now its confirmed, as Heat Vision is reporting that Gareth Evans' Indonesian action movie The Raid is getting a remake from Screen Gems. Sony Pictures acquired the film in Cannes, which means it's likely the deal came with remake rights as well, on top of changes like adding a new score from Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda. These kind of remakes are inevitable, I've heard other TIFF midnight faves are already going that way, too.
The Raid is quite hot in Hollywood at the moment, based on all the TIFF buzz (I called it "One of the Best Action Movies in Years"), plus that it's about to explode even more with a likely appearance at Fantastic Fest this weekend, on top of an eventual US release either late this year or early next year. Screen Gems is the studio currently "in negotiations on a remake", and its safe to say they're probably meeting with various US directors to hear they're take on this. The film tells the story of a SWAT team that becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster, armed with two highly violent martial arts killers and a huge army of machete-swinging, machine gun-toting dealers and thugs (watch a teaser trailer). Director Gareth Evans declined the option to do the remake, and will instead focus on a sequel that he hopes to shoot in February.
I'm a huge fan of the film, which I saw in Toronto, and obviously concerned about what a remake will do to enhance it, especially because it was the fighting and Indonesian martial arts that make it so awesome. Plus, when have action remakes in Hollywood ever turned out better than the original, especially with the original film already receiving so much acclaim. Then again, there's not much I can do about this except hope that it turns out okay. In the meantime, stay tuned, as we'll definitely be hyping up the US release of the original Indonesian film, starring Joe Taslim and Iko Uwais, which is really the one everyone needs to see first.