U.S. Remake of THE RAID Loses Its Director, Star, and Studio

Movie The Raid by Ben Pearson

Here's a little dose of Hollywood hubris for you. Patrick Hughes, the director of The Expendables 3, was all set to direct a remake of Gareth Evans' amazing Indonesian martial arts film The Raid (technically retitled The Raid: Redemption), with Taylor Kitsch and Frank Grillo attached to star as American DEA agents trying to take down the drug trade that fuels terrorism. To many, myself included, the idea of remaking The Raid made little sense: the original is an action movie masterpiece that has a simple, stripped down premise that even people who don't like reading subtitles can understand, and there's simply no way that American actors would be able to pull off the complex, jaw-dropping martial arts that Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, and company were able to put on full display in that movie.

Now The Tracking Board is reporting that Hughes will no longer direct the film, Screen Gems has dropped the project from its distribution roster, and Kitsch has walked away from the movie as well. That's a punishing blow for this remake, but XYZ Films is still attached to produce and the hunt is on for replacements for those newly-vacated slots. 

It's unclear whether Hughes left because of a scheduling conflict or the often-cited "creative differences," but the movie has been delayed for a while now, so it might be a case of Hughes just getting tired of sitting around waiting for the stars to align. Also unclear: whether or not Grillo is still involved.

It's probably naïve to hope that an American remake never sees the light of day, but at least those who weren't thrilled about the people and studio attached to this version can rest easy knowing it's going to have to be reworked before it (inevitably) comes back to life. Since Evans himself is serving as an executive producer on the remake, maybe he'll be able to figure out a better configuration for bringing it to U.S. audiences. Oh, to hell with naïveté: maybe they'll all decide to forget about this version altogether and move on to other things.

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