Exclusive: Gareth Evans reveals past story idea for The Raid 3

There’s no denying that the two RAID movies from Gareth Evans are two of the best martial arts movies of the decade. Fans desperately want Evans to get back behind the camera for a third, ass-kicking outing, but he’s recently gone on record to say his time with those movies is now over. In a new exclusive interview, the director elaborates on his decision to move on from the series and even sheds some light on the story that would’ve been used for THE RAID 3. Spoiler: It sounds badass.

While speaking with our own Eric Walkuski to promote his new Netflix movie, APOSTLE, Evans shared why it was time to move on to something different. However, he wants to let fans know that doing different things doesn’t mean moving away from the action genre, mentioning his new Cinemax show GANGS OF LONDON (which just secured THE NUN’s Corin Hardy as the director).

“So when I ruled out The Raid 3, I felt a little bit of a backlash over that. [Laughs] It’s really humbling that people want to see it. It’s not that I’m turning my back on action. If anything, I’m about to jump back in and embrace it again. We’re going to do a 10-part, nine-hour series for Sky Atlantic and HBO/Cinemax, a contemporary action thriller set in London. I’ve been working with my stunt coordinator for Apostle, we’ve been designing action sequences for this TV show. It’s going to be ten hours worth of various action set-pieces. So I’m going to dive back into that world; it’s got some brawling stuff, it’s got some gun play, it’s got some car chases. A wide spectrum of action we’re going to be exploring in this series. So I’m not turning my back on action by any stretch of the imagination. I just feel like, what we did with The Raid and The Raid 2… when Rama says ‘I’m done,’ that was kind of us saying we were done with it.”

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While Evans seems very at peace with the idea of not returning for more RAID movies he did at one point have an idea for where a third movie might have gone. Picking up after the events of the second movie, the third one would’ve been much leaner (around 95-100 minutes), and it was going to be focused more on the yakuza and less on Iko Uwais‘ Rama, the main character of the first two movies. 

“I knew what I wanted to do with The Raid 3, I knew what that story was going to be. If I was ever going to make it, it really had to have happened after we made The Raid 2. The storyline was going to pick up – I’ll give you a little bit of it – if you were watching The Raid 2 and rewound from the ending about 15-20 minutes back to when Goto gives instructions to his right-hand man to go kill the police, kill the politicians, ‘kill everyone that we work with, we’re going to start fresh,’ that was going to be the first scene of The Raid 3. It was going to be more about the yakuza than it was going to be about Rama; Rama was not really going to feature in that storyline much at all, it was going to be about the bosses in Japan realizing that someone in Jakarta that represented them started to fuck with the politicians and the police in a country they don’t belong in. It was going to be the fallout from that.”

“It was going to be a 95 minutes, 100 minutes, sort of… escape into the jungles of Indonesia type of thing. But it really needed to be made at that period of time. Four years, five years later to go back and try to recreate that, it felt a bit disingenuous. I made three martial arts films in a row, I wanted to explore other things first. It was always a cool idea, but it stopped being really special for me. The Raid, it gave me an awful lot that I’m very appreciative about, but that adventure is kind of over now.”

While we all may shed a tear for the third RAID movie that will never be, Evans is still churning out work to look forward to. APOSTLE, starring Dan Stevens and Michael Sheen, looks like a jarring and intense experience, and one that sports some stylish action scenes of its own. The story for RAID 3 does sound incredibly badass (even if Rama wouldn’t be around as much), but even though we won’t see it we still have the epic action of the first two to satisfy our action-junkie needs.

APOSTLE hits Netflix October 12 (read our review here!), and stick around for our full coverage of the movie next week!