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THE RAID 2

About The Production
In 2009, after the successful release of MERANTAU, Evans wrote an ambitious action drama, BERANDAL (Delinquent / English translation). The script contained substantial action scenes and complicated stunts that required a much bigger production than MERANTAU. Evans and Barack spent the whole year of 2010 searching for funding and technical support fit for the ambitious project. Unfortunately, they struggled and were forced to put the project on hold while Merantau Films moved forward with its second feature film, THE RAID: REDEMPTION, produced in 2011. THE RAID: REDEMPTION was received positively from both Indonesian and international audiences in 2012. After THE RAID: REDEMPTION's success, Evans and Barack-Evans were convinced that there was potential for a RAID franchise.

Gareth began revisiting BERANDAL's script to determine if it could be adapted as a sequel to THE RAID. (A close associate from XYZ Films, Nate Bolotin, Todd Brown, Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian kept a close discussion and adaptation of BERANDAL into THE RAID 2). Evans worked on a multiple drafts, tweaking the story line, characters and parts of the plot and completed it in the summer of 2012. The revised script, with changes made to some of the supporting roles, gave Evans the opportunity to cast Japanese actors as members of the opposite gang: Kenichi Endo as M. Goto, the mafia boss, Ryuhei Matsuda as Kenichi, his son, and Kazuki Kitamura as his right hand man.

Preproduction for THE RAID 2 began in Jakarta in the fall of 2012. With the revised script in hand, Evans, Uwais and Ruhian began making adjustments to the action choreography originally developed by Uwais and Ruhian in 2010:

"Once the revised script was completed, we started working on adjusting the action choreography to fit the new script. Gareth asked for a lot more fight scenes to be added and the technical level of the fights was also increased, especially for the Hammer Girl part. Her fight choreography was much less complex in the original script" (Yayan Ruhian)

Before preproduction on THE RAID 2, Evans shot a short feature titled OUTCALL starring Julie Estelle. Julie's role in the film required a small fight scene. After seeing her performance, Evans saw Estelle as a potential candidate for Hammer Girl. Estelle was among the candidates who auditioned for the role. Candidates were given two days to learn and rehearse the choreography imagined by Uwais and Ruhian. They performed on the third day. Even though Estelle did not have any martial arts background, her performance stunned Evans, Uwais and Ruhian. Julie proved able to not only fight well, but perform her scenes with credibility. She was exactly what Evans was looking for.

One of the most memorable scenes in the film (and the one Evans was most excited about) features Hammer Girl - a pretty and fashionable girl looking like a pop icon - using two hammers to eliminate a gang of men as she slowly reaches towards her target in a subway train.

Since his debut as the lead actor in MERANTAU (Yudha) and in THE RAID: REDEMPTION (Rama), Uwais has always played a righteous ideal hero. When Evans wrote THE RAID 2 he wanted to challenge Uwais by creating a hero who has lost track of himself and as a result shows a darker side. Rama manages to escape from the chaos with the help of his brother. After his brother is killed by a gang member, Rama develops a strong sense of revenge. He loses control when he goes undercover into the dark world of gangsters. Rama, once a hero with strong moral values, slowly becomes violent. Rama is also now a married father of a young boy. Embodying a character with such a complex story was challenging for Uwais:

"When I make a film, I don't really want to repeat what I have already done in my previous films, I like to keep pushing the challenge bar in many ways and present a fresh product" (Gareth Evans)

In THE RAID: REDEMPTION, the leading and supporting roles were somewhat limited, and the storyline rather simple. Evans wanted THE RAID: REDEMPTION to be an equivalent of a roller coaster experience in cinema. In THE RAID 2, Gareth wanted to create a much more complex film, developing subplots and multiple supporting characters. He strove to make the new characters as compelling as possible, even those with limited onscreen presence. None are there to merely support the principal casts but are equally important and. For instance, Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man are both written as characters that don't have any lines of dialog. Yet they each have one amazing action scene to themselves. The two characters are memorable on the strength of these scenes alone. The film also features car stunts, a new type of filmmaking for Evans.

The car stunts were coordinated by the Hong Kong stunt team, under the supervision of Bruce Law. Introduced by common friend Mike Leeder, Evans and Law met in Jakarta in December 2012 and discussed Evans's ideas at length. After finding common ground, they worked together on designing the stunts, which included painstakingly planning details such as car types and locations. It was the first time a car stunt sequence was filmed in Indonesia, so it was quite a challenge working with local authorities.

Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal had already collaborated with Merantau Films for MERANTAU (2009) and THE RAID: REDEMPTION's (2011) score. However, for THE RAID: REDEMPTION's U.S. release, the score was done by Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) and Joe Trapanese. For THE RAID 2, Gareth wanted to avoid having two versions of the score. He set up a platform where Aria and Fajar could collaborate with foreign artists. Once the THE RAID 2's production was announced, Joe Trapanese showed interest in joining the project.

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