New hero: Iko Uwais poses for a photo last week with a poster for the planned The Raid 2: Berandal, due for release in 2014. JP/Andrei Hasibuan
Gareth Evans, Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian and producer Ario Sagantoro are returning with The Raid 2: Berandal (Thugs).
After the enormous success of The Raid, Merantau Films is working on a sequel slated for release in 2014. Pre-production will be completed by the end of the year, and they will start shooting in early 2013.
“The Raid was like a rollercoaster ride. We kept on pushing the audience’s adrenaline and not giving them room to breathe, Berandal is more of a balance between drama, stronger characters and our style [of a martial arts action film],” said Ario Sagantoro, the producer of the films, at a press conference last week.
Strong characters mean strong actors. Therefore, aside from the two famous martial artists from The Raid, the filmmakers are bringing in even more talented actors, including Tio Pakusadewo, Oka Antara, Alex Abbad, Arifin Putra, Julie Estelle, Marsha Timothy, Epi Kusnandar, Zack Lee, Roy Marten, and Mathias Muchus.
Donny Alamsyah, Hengky Sulaiman and Haryadi Anwar also return to the characters they played in The Raid. Added to the ensemble are two martial artists fresh from the big screen, Feri Tri Yulisman and “Silat Master” Cecep Arif Rahman.
“Julie Estelle is going to play ‘The Hammer Girl’. There were a lot of questions regarding the absence of a female fighter in our films. Well, we present one for you here,” said Ario.
The cast does not stop there. The filmmakers also announced they will be bringing in three Japanese actors to join Berandal. The names will be announced in January along with who is going to compose the score.
The plot of the film will be a continuation of The Raid.
“It literally starts a few hours after the first film ended. It’s a much longer story. The period of time will go on for about three or four years. It’s a much bigger story with much more drama in it,” said director
Gareth Evans on the sequel.
The story will focus on Iko Uwais’ character after the events of The Raid, and, as can be predicted, he will continue fighting mobs — even more than the first film.
“There’s going to be two or three big villains in this one,” said Evans, who is also the writer and editor. Tio Pakusadewo, Alex Abbad and Arifin Putra’s characters were announced as the major villains.
The film will be two hours or more, with the last 40 to 45 minutes of major action, the filmmakers said.
For the fighting scenes themselves, silat will still be used. As for silat styles, there will be no one style for the entire film.
“We are combining all of the styles according to what we are going to deliver and act out on screen,” said Ario.
“What we are doing with [Julie’s] character is actually another form of harimau silat. Basically, in this style, you hit with a flat palm while the fingers are poised, then you can strike, grab, pull and drag. So we decided to transform it to weapon-based. Her character has two hammers, she will hit with the hard part, stab you with the claw and pull you back, so technically it’s harimau but a weapon version of it,” said Evans, describing one of the transformations they will make in the martial arts on screen.
The idea for Berandal started three years ago, even before The Raid. However, due to obstacles such as the need for a large budget and an extended amount of time and other technical matters, the project was put on hiatus and the filmmakers came up with the idea for The Raid instead. This time, after their success, they were able to fill in the gaps for Berandal.
“The budget for The Raid was about US$1 million. This one is about three times more than that,” Ario said about the budget for their huge production.
The rights to distribute Berandal in some countries overseas have already been purchased by Sony Productions. The strategy for the film’s release will follow the path of The Raid, starting at festivals around the world then followed by a public release.
The shooting locations will be 95 percent in Jakarta, with a few to be shot outside the city but still in Indonesia.
The Raid DVDs were released nationwide last week.