Sony Pictures Classics and Stage 6 Films will team up on U.S. distribution of martial arts actioner The Raid 2, the companies announced today. Helmer Gareth Evans made a splash with the first Raid pic, the 2011 Indonesian bone-cruncher The Raid: Redemption, which tracked a doomed squad of cops trapped in a concrete tenement filled with armed thugs. Evans returns to write and direct the sequel, which picks up after the events of the first film and follows cop hero Rama (Iko Uwais) undercover as he infiltrates a ruthless Jakarta crime ring.
Sony’s love affair with the Indonesian action franchise began two years ago at Cannes, where Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions snapped up U.S. distribution rights after screening partial footage. Screen Gems landed the remake rights and set Brad Ingelsby to adapt. Unleashed on the festival circuit, The Raid won the Midnight Madness award at the Toronto Film Festival and collected raves out of Sundance and SXSW. SPWA was so high on the buzzy film that it pre-bought U.S. rights to the sequel last year prior to The Raid‘s debut via Sony Classics.
The Raid 2: Berendal also will feature the Indonesian martial arts discipline silat as Evans ups the action ante with more elaborate set pieces and fights. Ario Sagantoro produced the pic for Merantau Films with Aram Tertzakian and Nate Bolotin of XYZ Films. Merantau’s Rangga Maya Barack-Evans exec produced alongside Irwan D. Mussry, and Nick Spicer and Todd Brown of XYZ.