Netflix is working on an American remake of the Indonesian action film The Raid reports Deadline (opens in new tab), and it sounds like a terrible idea.
The remake will be produced by Michael Bay while Patrick Hughes, most well known for directing The Expendables 3 and The Hitman’s Bodyguard, has been earmarked for the director’s gig.
The reimagining will switch the location to Philadpehia’s “drug-infested Badlands” and will see “an elite undercover DEA task force climb a ladder of cartel informants to catch an elusive kingpin.”
The Raid was originally released in 2011 and has become something of a cult classic since. Directed by Gareth Evans (who will exec produce the remake), the action film follows an elite police squad as they attempt to infiltrate a high-rise building owned by a drug lord. They soon find themselves trapped inside and are forced to fight their way up to the top floor.
The film received strong critical praise for its elaborately choreographed fight sequences and breakneck pacing. Its warm reception from viewers and modest financial success lead to a sequel in 2014, and a third film was considered but ultimately never entered production.
An American remake of The Raid has been gestating for almost a decade, but has never quite got off the ground until now. The likes of Chris and Liam Hemsworth and Frank Grillo have all been attached to previous remake efforts, but no casting information has been announced for Netflix’s attempt. Similarly, there is no word on a release date yet — but expect it to be 2023 at the earliest.
Analysis: Who asked for this?
Even at this early stage, the prospect of an American remake of The Raid feels more than a little pointless. For starters, the original is hardly old enough to have become dated, while its focus on action spectacle over everything else means that nothing is really lost in translation.
Cinema history is littered with American remakes that have utterly failed to capture the essence of what made the original film so beloved. Need I remind you of Spike Lee’s painful 2013 attempt to remake South Korean thriller Oldboy? Fingers crossed this remake of The Raid doesn’t miss the mark quite so spectacularly.
Of course, it should be noted that the director of the original, Gareth Evans, is on board as an executive producer, so while he won’t be writing or directing the project, he’ll have some form of input. This will hopefully prevent the film from diverting too far from what makes its source material such a fantastic film.
Nevertheless, The Raid is often ranked among the best action films ever, so remaking it feels like a fool’s errand. Still, we'll reserve full judgment until the finished product is released, and perhaps Netflix will pleasantly surprise us all.