Joe Carnahan Talks His Remake Of 'The Raid', Production Could Start Soon

I know, if you're like me and worship the ground Gareth Evans walks on for his two incredible, unbeatable action flicks The Raid and The Raid 2: Berendal, you probably hoped talk of an English-language remake had vanished. Sadly, it hasn't. Joe Carnahan is still moving forward on the film, with Frank Grillo on board as his star, and it may be coming around sooner than you think.

In an interview between Carnahan and Collider it's revealed that production could begin "in a few weeks", which is pretty fast considering the relative silence on it for so long. Carnahan came aboard a couple of years ago, and while the Smokin' Aces filmmaker knows the genre quite well, he's ice skating uphill on this one as The Raid is sacred territory for most people.

Still, Carnahan has a plan and goes into some detail on what his version of the film will look like...

“You meet Frank’s character having just rotated back from a really, really, brutal special forces operation. He’s got soft tissue damage in his hands, and his rotator cuff is blown out, and they take fluid off his knees, and the doctors basically tell him, “Listen you’re at the razor’s edge of PTSD and you need three months of just nothing, some R&R, because you’re jacked up.’ And in that space he gets the message that his brother, who he thought had been dead for four years, is actually alive and working for a very bad guy in Caracas, and in 18 hours they’re gonna kill his brother. These forces are gonna descend and murder the bad guy and murder the brother, so do you wanna go and get your brother, who you thought is dead? Do you want that opportunity? So that’s where we start.”

Carnahan isn't Evans, and he plans on bringing a little something different to the crazy fighting scenes with their wild cinematography...

“I want the entire movie to feel like the knife fight between Adam Goldberg and the German in Saving Private Ryan. Everything. In every great action film there’s always an emotional quotient that you’re dealing with… You have to have a sense of stakes. For all of the tremendous excess of those last two Matrix films, which I enjoyed the hell out of, they never really got to the tension of just Keanu Reeves trying to answer a phone at the end of the first movie. There was great pathos, there was a great sense of, ‘Is he gonna make it?’ The spectacle I think outweighs the heart and soul of it, and that’s what you have to remember is you’ve gotta have that attached.”

For the record, that knife fight still gives me chills. I can't watch it.

Anyway, The Raid is based on Evans' 2011 Indonesian action flick, about a rookie cop (played by Iko Uwais) in an elite police squad sent to infiltrate a ganglord's high-rise apartment. They're met by floor after floor of armed goons in a relentless blitz of violence that leaves you breathless. The sequel three years later expanded on the criminal underworld aspect, but maintained the high level of intensity.  A third movie was planned by Evans, who has since moved on to direct the Netflix cult thriller Apostle, has said it's no longer a goal for him. Rivers of tears flowed that day.

It's not often that American remakes of great foreign movies work out, even less so for action movies. I'm always reminded of the incredible District B13, which got a terrible Hollywood remake titled Brick Mansions. No matter what I'm going to be there for The Raid and Carnahan, who is genuinely one of the good guys doing this and will give this his best shot.