Original director Gareth Evans, Michael Bay, Patrick Hughes, and Netflix are teaming up for a remake of Evan’s The Raid, the cult classic Indonesian action film that skyrocketed Evans to directorial acclaim.
Deadline reports Patrick Hughes will direct the remake now set in Philadelphia, while Bay and his XYZ Films will produce. Evans will executive produce and Hughes will co-write the script with James Beaufort.
This new take on The Raid is set in Philadelphia’s “Badlands” region, a notorious stretch of North and Lower Northeast Philadelphia afflicted by drug violence.
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While Evans’ original film followed an elite Indonesian S.W.A.T. team trapped in an apartment block by a murderous crime boss, Hughes’ version will follow an undercover DEA agent working his way through cartel informants to find a drug kingpin.
“We’re incredibly excited about Patrick’s unique vision for this film. It’s a distinctly original take on the material, which promises to pay great respect to the original film while also bringing a fresh approach and perspective that will set its own course in the action genre,” the producers said.
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The remake of The Raid will be Bay and Hughes’ first time working together. Hughes previously directed The Expendables 3, and later on the two Hitman’s Bodyguard films starring Ryan Reynolds. Bay is of course known for directing the first five Transformers live-action movies, 1996’s The Rock, and 2003’s Bad Boys II, among other action classic and not-so-classic films.
The original Raid film debuted in 2011 at the Toronto Film Festival, quickly becoming a cult favorite among action and martial arts movie fans. The film proved enough of a success for Evans to make The Raid 2, released in 2014.
The series sparked a renewed interest in Indonesian martial arts cinema, with a particular focus on the art of Pencak Silat, resulting in the success of other films like Headshot and Netflix’s The Night Comes For Us, which stars The Raid/Mortal Kombat’s Joe Taslim. The series similarly helped launch the careers of Evans and main star Iko Uwais, who also starred in The Night Comes For Us, as well as Evans’ first major film, Merantau.
Longtime fans of Asian cinema are no strangers to western remakes falling short of the original, such as the Ghost in the Shell live-action movie with Scarlett Johansson. That said, Evans previously worked with Netflix to make Apostle, a horror-thriller following a man’s attempt to rescue his sister from an island-dwelling religious cult. So it would seem Evans has some faith in the Netflix machine. That said, Hughes’ work on The Hitman’s (Wife’s) Bodyguard is widely regarded as bad-to-mediocre, so only time will tell if the director is capable of more with the backing of Michael Bay and Evans.
Evans is also working with Netflix to direct a similarly crime-driven film starring Tom Hardy, though we haven’t heard much about that since early 2021.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/White Boy Bobby for IGN.