Three of the biggest action directors in the game are coming together to help give a new spin on one of the decade’s most acclaimed action pics. Sources tell Deadline that Netflix has come aboard a new reimagining of Gareth Evans’ cult classic The Raid, tapping Patrick Hughes to direct with Michael Bay and XYZ Films on board to produce. Evans will exec produce along with Range Media Partners, which reps all three talents. Hughes will co-write the script with James Beaufort.
If you know me, then you know that I am basically the worlds biggest salesman for 'The Raid: Redemption' and 'The Raid 2'. They are two of the greatest action movies ever made, and they helped usher in the new wave of action movies like John Wick, Atomic Blonde and more. At the heart of what makes these movies so great are 2 things.
#1. Steady action fighting. Not too much of that shakey cam bullshit. Just steady, brutal fights that sometimes go for insanely long takes and have crazy choreography.
#2. The Cast. Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Yayan Ruhain and Cecep Arif Rahman are all extremely good practitioners of silat, an Indonesian martial art. They've all gone on to do great stuff, including the other great Indonesian martial arts movies 'The Night Comes For Us' and 'Headshot'. In the west, Uwais was in 'Snake Eyes', 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and the slightly underrated 'Wu Assassins''. Taslim recently played Sub Zero in 'Mortal Kombat'. Ruhain and Rahman were both in John Wick Chapter 3 as the shinobi that ambush Wick in that mirrrors room. They are authentic! The real deal. They sell the fights in a way you just don't see in a lot of action movies because they know what they are doing.
That is what makes me nervous about a Hollywood remake in the hands of Michael Bay. His involvement makes me feel that not only is he going to attach an aging action star, but that he will betray the spirit of the action sequences by reverting it to shaky cam to make up for the unconvincing fight optics of said star. Gareth Evans, the director of the original movies, being an EP is definitely a little bit of a security. But I'm just worried that such a great franchise is going to get muddied down and cheapened by the Bay effect. Not literally cheapened, though, because I'm sure Bay will somehow shore up a $150 million dollar budget to make a shitty version of what Evans made with $1 million.
Patrick Hughes is the bit of a wild card here. I interviewed him recently this year and I actually think he is a solid director of actual action movies. He did the Expendables 3, which easily feature the best actual fight scenes of any movie in that franchise. That movie also featured nothing BUT aging action stars, so maybe there is something to be said there.
I am just desperately hoping that is made correctly. For Evans, it is probably a win-win. He's making money regardless, and if the movie is great, that's cool. If it sucks, it will drive the original movie's superfans to drive people back to the original.