The Raid was one of the first great movies I saw last year, capping off my Sundance Film Festival with a jolt of excitement that no other action movie was able to match. The film seemed like a sure fire hit, and Sony Pictures saw the strong critical buzz and snapped up the U.S. rights, renaming the film The Raid: Redemption while director Gareth Evans began work on the sequel, Berandal.
New details are beginning to emerge on the film, with Twitch reporting that Julie Estelle(Macabre) has joined the cast as a 'Hammer Girl'. Alex Abbad, who played the bad guy in Evans' debut feature Merantau, is also joining the crew, along with Marsha Timothy, Mathias Muchus Tio Pakusadewo, and silat martial arts master Cecep Arif Rahman. Plot details have been thin, but we know Evans is working from a much larger budget this time and that the setting will be broader in scope, with car chases factoring in somehow. Iko Uwais will of course be back in the lead role, and Evans recently tweeted that the film begins two hours after The Raid: Redemption ends.
Shooting begins in just a few days, and I expect we'll see this on the festival circuit by the end of the year. Evans could conceivably have the entire planned trilogy done by early next year if he keeps up with this pace. If you haven't yet experienced The Raid: Redemption, might I suggest picking it up on Blu-Ray now?