'You Can't Remake The Raid, Guys,' Says 'The Raid' Remake Director

Yayan Ruhian as Mad Dog in 'The Raid: Redemption.' Sony Pictures Classics

Though all remakes are of the devil, not all remakes are of equal diabolism. There are many offices, ranks and titles among the beasts populating that fell choir, some more and some less malignant than others. The worst remakes re-chew unimpeachable classics, like The Thing, Robocop or Halloween (the Starship Troopers remake proves they haven’t learned a simple lesson: you will never top Carpenter or Verhoeven). There’s the updated special effects remake. The classic comedy with a mediocre new lead. And there’s the import, which can be anything from “in English this time” to “now it’s in Boston and about Jack Nicholson throwing around handfuls of cocaine” (this will probably also apply to Nicholson’s upcoming remake of Toni Erdmann).

One of the most innocent remakes of all is the action movie remake. Because good action is always different and every action director is different and every action sequence is different. An action movie remake doesn’t need to take much more than a title and a premise. After that, it’s just another action movie. And who doesn’t want another action movie?

They’re remaking The Raid.

The Indonesian original gave us Yayan Ruhian and introduced the world to pencak silat martial arts while at the same time topping more gun-focused action movies with imaginative new ways to apply pistols to people. It’d be a tough movie to remake.

But director Joe Carnahan wants to give it a try. The director of The Grey, Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team and Narc will team up with Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Purge: Anarchy). They’ve got a couple ideas already, which they describe in the announcement video released by XYZ Films:

Already we’ve got some intriguing differences from the original, including a move to Caracas, Venezuela, a focus on a smaller tactical unit and the promise of fighting like “no one’s ever seen.”

Carnahan went on to describe his Raid remake as a "reimagining of the same scenario," but “closer in tone & feel to The Grey and Narc."

They also called it a reimagining: the rebranded “remake” now that everyone reflexively hates remakes — a heuristic that continues to be more often right than wrong.

“You can’t remake The Raid, guys,” Carnahan wrote.

They can use a different word for remake all they want, we’re here to see “something really special.”

“We won’t disappoint you, rabid-fanboy-from-Hell,” Carnahan wrote.

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