By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com September 21, 2011 at 1:19AM
At this year's Toronto International Film Festival, which proved relatively quiet in terms of breakout hits, one film has dominated the buzz among genre-fans: Indonesian actioner "The Raid." Focusing on a SWAT team attempting to take out a mobster in a tenement, and directed by ex-pat Welsh helmer Gareth Huw Evans, it's apparently an ultra-violent, breathless, stripped-down, genre classic, with some viewers drawing comparisons to "Die Hard" -- high praise indeed. (Watch the trailer below for a hint of what to expect).
Even though Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired North American rights to the film at Cannes back in May, it was inevitable that word of a remake might start to circulate, and that's exactly what's happening, as Sony's genre label Screen Gems are now in advanced talks to make a U.S. version, something aided by the original deal, which gives Sony a right of refusal on an Anglicized re-do.
Evans is clearly set to be a hot property in Hollywood, having just signed with Management 360, but he's not going to be responsible for sullying his own work; he's turned down the remake job, and will instead shoot a sequel to the original in Indonesia in February. It's unclear at this point how close it'll be to the original; the film uses a fighting style called 'silat' that's new to U.S. audiences, and it may be hard to carry across, although supposedly Screen Gems are aware that it's one of the film's strengths.
It's also unclear if we'll still see the original in theaters; it recently got a new score by Linkin Park man Mike Shinoda, which suggests that some kind of release is planned, but it's possible it may only end up on DVD, which would be a shame. In the meantime, Screen Gems are currently looking for a director, and hope to pin one down shortly. Seeing as it's Screen Gems, we'd expect to see a first-time music video director and a cast including Cam Gigandet and Matt Dillon. But maybe not. [Heat Vision]