Adapting pop culture icons like the Transformers and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clearly isn’t enough for filmmaker Michael Bay. The action-embracing director is now reaching across the ocean to help bring one of the most critically acclaimed action films of the 21st century to American shores in a reimagined form. Bay is producing a remake of the 2011 martial arts film The Raid for Netflix.
Deadline broke the news on Monday that the Indonesian instant classic The Raid was being remade, with the original writer/director Gareth Evans attached to executive produce. The film will be produced by Michael Bay and XYZ Films — the latter produced both The Raid and its 2014 sequel The Raid 2. Patrick Hughes (The Hitman’s Bodyguard) will direct, with James Beaufort (Tiger) co-writing the script with Hughes.
The original version of the film Michael Bay is helping to remake stars Iko Uwais — who American audiences may know better as Oka Tedjo, a villain from Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani’s 2019 buddy action comedy Stuber — as a rookie in a special forces unit tasked with raiding a high-rise building being used as a headquarters for a powerful drug lord. The film proved a huge hit when it premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. It was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, though the title was changed to The Raid: Redemption for legal reasons. The film enjoys an impressive 87% score on Rotten Tomatoes and its 2014 follow up, The Raid 2, is similarly well-regarded with an 82% score.
It will be interesting to see exactly what happens to those critics scores now that Patrick Hughes is directing. Hughes is familiar with working with Netflix, having already directed 2017’s The Hitman’s Bodyguard and the 2021 follow-up The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. He also joined the action star clown car that is The Expendables franchise by directing 2014’s The Expendables 3. Deadline reports that Michael Bay and Hughes were instant friends once they were introduced, and that similarly Gareth Evans is impressed with Hughes’ vision for The Raid remake. However, Hughes hasn’t proven to be the same critical darling that Evans has. Reviewers enjoyed Hughes’ 2010 mystery thriller Red Hill, but after that, the RT scores for all of Hughes’ directorial efforts are of the dreaded green splat variety. His action comedy The Man from Toronto — starring Woody Harrelson and Kevin Hart — is due for release on August 12.
So far, there isn’t any word on who might star in the remake of The Raid, if Iko Uwais might make an appearance, or on a release date. According to Deadline, the story will transport the story from the Indonesian setting of the original to the Philadelphia “Badlands” — a part of Northern and lower Northeastern Philadelphia known for drug deals and drug related violence. An “elite task force” from the DEA will work their way through lower level dealers to get to a crime kingpin who’s proven difficult to locate. If things unfold as they do in the original, few members of the task force will survive to the end of the film, with everything being left in hands of one unbeatable hero.