Like an overzealous SWAT-team member taking an unexpected machete to the torso, the American remake of The Raid has been brought to a halt. Variety reports that Screen Gems has pushed back the start time of the shoot, which was set to begin in September, and has also stopped the pre-production process. Sources insist that the delay is not a soft cancelation, and that the project will simply get off to a later start, forcing fans of the original to wait a few extra months to see a slightly slicker, presumably less violent version of a movie that came out just a couple of years ago.
Variety speculates that the pause button may have been struck by producers hoping to beef up the name talent in the cast, which so far includes such prospective participants as Ethan Hawke, Luke Evans, and Anthony Mackie—none of whom, it must be assumed, is a master in pencak silat. Perhaps, however, those involved are simply taking a breather to reexamine the wisdom of remaking a movie that features, oh, maybe 17 lines of subtitled dialogue, as the rest of the film is basically just dudes punching, kicking, and chopping the shit out of each other. (The language of repeatedly bashing a guy’s head into a wall is universal.)
Patrick Hughes, who helmed this summer’s trilogy-closing The Expendables 3, is still on board to direct. Trying to match the sheer intensity of Gareth Evans’ original seems about as gutsy/foolish as storming a high-rise apartment building populated entirely by dangerous, blade-wielding criminals, but let’s give Hughes the benefit of the doubt. Remember, his version may star Ethan Hawke, who appeared in Assault On Precinct 13—an unnecessary remake that didn’t turn out so terribly. Meanwhile, those who can’t wait to see an American Raid should just rent Dredd. It’s basically the same movie, but with Lena Headey as a drug kingpin named Ma-Ma.