Gareth Evans was in London over the weekend to attend the Frightfest premiere of VHS 2, of which he was one of the directors, and to premiere a first look clip from very keenly anticipated sequel, The Raid 2: Berendal.
In short, the clip was great. It showed a scene on an underground train in which the character of Hammer Girl identifies her target, pulls out a hammer and proceeds to use it, both blunt end and claw end, to take down his half a dozen or so bodyguards. It’s an amazing display of dexterity and agility, but also a calm kind of viciousness.
The opening shots of the sequence were perhaps the very most interesting, showing Evans playing with composition in different ways than you might with an action beat. I wish I had screen caps here to show you what I mean, in fact.
I hope you’ve taken the time to read Craig’s two-part interview with Evans as there’s a lot of fascinating info in there about both of those upcoming pictures. A lot. What they didn’t discuss, though, is the upcoming, English-language do-over of the first Raid.
But I took the opportunity to do some snooping and fact checking, and came up with one interesting tidbit: Red, Red 2 and Battleship screenwriters Jon and Erich Hoeber have been doing some work on the film’s script.
The structure of the screenplay is – at least at this stage of development – incredibly faithful to the original film, but I understand that the Hoebers have been given license to make any changes they might see necessary or beneficial and haven’t just been charged with what would amount to a translation.
Evans himself has long been attached to direct this do-over, which likely means the film will retain its brutal violence, not to mention the incredible action choreography, staging and editing.
UPDATE: Evans is now not going to direct, just executive produce. And he’s denied that the Hoebers are involved via Twitter, but I checked again with somebody very close to them, and my original story was backed up. I guess it’s supposed to be an uncredited rewrite kept off the map. Now back to the original story…
Talking of which, here’s an interview between our friend Jan Gilbert and Evans, also carried out at Frightfest over the weekend. At some point towards the end of this clip, Jan asks Evans about directing a Marvel movie, just in principle, and he says that he’s not sure yet how to make a PG-13 film. These are skills he thinks he’ll need in the future, he suggests, but they’re also skills hasn’t developed yet.
VHS 2 is available on VOD in the US right now while I can’t find confirmation of its UK release anywhere. It is coming, though, and Evans and Timo Tjahjanto‘s section, Safe Haven, is the genuine stand-out.