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A couple of sites posted this rumor during the Sundance Film Festival, but now Variety is confirming that Gareth Huw Evans will move ahead with a sequel to his high-octane action thriller The Raid.
The trade says the sequel, which producers hope to begin filming toward the end of 2012, will return action star Iko Uwais and his director, Evans, for a feature tentatively titled Berendal. As is the case with most sequels, this one will have a larger budget than its predecessor, though there are few details about where the story might go from here.
Much like John McTiernan’s first Die Hard, The Raid is contained to a single location, with a SWAT team infiltrating the decrepit hideout of a drug lord, then having to fight their way out when the mission goes awry. And like Die Hard, the premise doesn’t lend itself to a sequel. Will Uwais’ elite officer have to infiltrate yet another safe house? Will the franchise go in a completely different direction?
This isn’t the only bit of franchise news birthed from The Raid’s success. Screen Gems already announced plans for a U.S. remake of Evans’ story. All for a film most of us haven’t even seen yet! The Raid played the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and recently earned more converts at Sundance. Sony Pictures Classics plans to release the original Raid in the States on March 23, and I’ll finally (FINALLY!) get to see it at SXSW.
With all of this activity swirling around The Raid -- from remakes to sequels – it just has to be amazing. Right?