Joe Carnahan’s remake of The Raid is no longer a remake
THE RAID and its sequel are two of the best action films of all-time, so naturally, Hollywood has been developing an English-language remake for a number of years. Joe Carnahan (BOSS LEVEL) has been slated to direct the remake with Frank Grillo (THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD) starring, but according to Collider, the project technically isn’t a remake anymore.
During a Q&A following a screening of BOSS LEVEL, Joe Carnahan revealed that he’s parted ways with XYZ Films, the production company which owns the rights to THE RAID movies, but that the project is still moving forward under a different title: ZENO, which is the name of the main character. Negotiations are underway with a “big name” to star in the project, with another name that they “love” having already signed on to play the villain of the film. Honestly, I think this is for the best; developing a successful remake of THE RAID was always going to be a tall order, but this way, Joe Carnahan and Frank Grillo can chart their own course and deliver a more original action flick.
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 added that he wants to bring an intense level of emotion to every action sequence. “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,” Carnahan said. “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.“