If you're a serious action movie fan, then you're already familiar with 2011's The Raid, known stateside as The Raid: Redemption. It was directed by Gareth Evans and is generally agreed to be one of the best pure action films ever made. Plans for an American remake have been around for years, though the wheels on the project have been turning quite slowly, when they haven't stopped altogether.
Joe Carnahan was the last name attached to the project who was going to produce the film with Frank Grillo. Recently, Collider asked the pair what the current status of the movie was, and while Carnahan confirmed that the project is still moving forward, and is apparently in negotiations with a "big name" to star, the movie has gone through one major change, as it's not, strictly speaking, actually a remake of The Raid anymore.
The original film sees a police officer named Rama and his special tactics team making a raid on an apartment building in order to take down a major crime boss. Almost the entire film takes place in the building, and the fact that the cops know the boss is in the building is the reason they go in, because he's locked down. However, in Joe Carnahan's script, the cops plan is to avoid the building altogether. According to Carnahan...
The version that I wrote, they don’t ever intend to actually go in [to the building]. They think that they’re gonna’ move this guy. So their whole operation is, ‘we’re gonna’ hit this guy in transit.’ It’s not until they realize, ‘Oh, they’re digging in, they’re not moving, we’ve got to now go in and get him.’ It’s a very, very different script…It’s really, really, really about the brothers.
In the original film we learn that Rama's brother is one of the crime boss' top lieutenants, and it's for that reason that he got involved in the raid. However, we don't actually learn that detail until later in the movie. It sounds like, from Carnahan's comments, that the sibling relationship is the core of his version of the movie and will likely play a bigger part in the story.
Still, it sounds like eventually the movie will shift into the building and the raid of The Raid will happen. So perhaps Joe Carnahan's movie is mostly "inspired by" the Indonesian film as opposed to being a remake of it. That's maybe not the worst idea. While the original film is incredibly popular with some movie fans, the fact is that your average filmgoer doesn't know it. For them, it won't matter that the movie isn't a remake because they won't know the original. For those that are big fans of The Raid, we always knew that trying to actually remake it and do it justice was going to be a tall order, so maybe not trying to do so is the best solution.
This won't be the only major change in the film. It has previously been revealed that the action will shift geography as well, being set in Caracas rather than Indonesia.
While there's still no real time frame on when we might see this movie, if a star is signed soon, as it appears could happen, that might be enough to finally fast track the film. It may not exactly be The Raid, but hell, if it's a good movie, who really cares?