If you ask any action aficionado for their favorite movies from the last decade, Gareth Evans‘ The Raid flicks will probably be mentioned near the top of the list. Both set the bar unfairly high for other movies to reach. They put Indonesian action cinema on the map by showcasing the genre at its most hard-hitting and innovative. And they turned regional stars like Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim into overnight cult sensations, celebrated by action buffs across the planet. The Raid movies are gifts from the gods, and I’m eternally grateful for their existence.
That said, one more sequel to complete a trilogy would be the icing on the cake. According to Evans, however, it’s never going to happen. During an interview with Empire, the director shared the plot details for a once-planned third movie that was in the works, then revealed why it’s, unfortunately, not going to become a reality. Basically, Evans wasn’t interested in making another film set in The Raid universe. He’s an artist who wants to tell different types of stories and prove that there’s more to him than making sublime action movies.
Here’s what he had to say on the matter:
“My interests had moved on to other projects. You work with other people, you meet other people and want to work with them again, you want to try different things, you find a story that suddenly captures your attention, and that’s the thing you want to do next. Things get offered to you that are hard to pass up on.”
While fans will never see The Raid 3 come to fruition, Evans did give a detailed rundown of what the story would have entailed. The director recalled how the movie would have expanded the world even more by revolving around Goto (Kenichi Endō), the head honcho of the Yakuza who was introduced in The Raid 2.
A movie without Rama (Uwais) seems like a strange concept, but this idea actually sounds quite exciting in its own right. In The Raid 2, Goto orders his right-hand man to kill every crooked cop and politician in Jakarta who has been working for their gang. In The Raid 3, though, this decision wouldn’t have sat too well with some of his colleagues in the Yakuza, and the chaos would have ensued from there.
According to Evans, Goto’s trusted sidekick would have betrayed him in exchange for power, telling the Yakuza higher-ups that his boss had lost his mind. But Goto would have evaded the attempted assassination and escaped to the jungle, where he’d track down his old friend and train a guerrilla army to wage war against the Yakuza.
In regards to leaving Rama out of the equation, Evans explained that he didn’t want to make him seem like a moron. Given that Rama wanted to focus on being a husband and father, Evans couldn’t come up with a fathomable reason to make the character risk his life again. If he put himself in more danger, he’d have deserved to die for being so irresponsible.
Still, Evans also thought that a Rama-free movie would have been too polarizing and said that the fans are probably glad that he didn’t press ahead with the project, now that the plot details are public knowledge. Personally, I think Evans is wrong here, and I’m sure other fans agree with me.
The Raid 2 does a terrific job of organically expanding this world. The first film is very self-contained and takes place in an apartment complex. The sequel, meanwhile, depicted a city full of organized crime, populated by some interesting characters whose stories were just as fascinating as Rama’s.
A third film — even with a new character — could have been interesting, especially since Rama’s story concluded in a satisfying manner. He earned his happily-ever-after, and most fans just want him to be safe. If the planned sequel did happen, though, the action sequences would have been terrific, and that’s the main draw at the end of the day.