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.
article from www.thejakartapost.com
By: Dina Indrasafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Those who have seen the action movie Merantau might remember Yayan Ruhiyan as the pragmatic, no-nonsense Eric, who bombarded a man twice his size with fatal blows, causing the latter to collapse in defeat before realizing what had hit him.
In The Raid, set to be released in March, Yayan is the sadistic, fearless Mad Dog, an even more formidable figure seemingly devoid of any goodwill.
Yayan offscreen, however, seldom speaks without a smile. Humble and soft spoken, his only intimidating trait for those meeting him for the first time might be his compact yet obviously toned figure and the fact that he caused the table to rattle significantly each time his sinewed arm brushed against it.
He was unsure why he was chosen as the antagonist in both of the films directed by Gareth Huw Evans.
“I don’t think I have a scary face. Some people say it’s cute … I am just trying to carry out the responsibility given to me the best I can,” Yayan said, laughing.
Apparently, he and the others involved in the process did a decent job. While Merantau, which was released in 2009, got favorable reviews, The Raid was listed as one of Time magazine’s 20 most awaited movies this year.
The film tells the story of a local SWAT team on a risky mission to enter a drug lord’s lair, and was screened at the “Midnight Madness” portion of the Toronto International Film Festival last year.
According to Yayan, his experience with Merantau was something entirely unexpected.
“I was only a member of the choreography team. Two weeks before the shooting began, I was told that there was one role that was still vacant for someone with the ability to do martial arts as well as say lines. I was told ‘Pak Yayan, you are requested to participate in the casting process’,” he recalled.
Yayan said he participated because he felt he had to do his best to carry out the request. A few days later, he was told he got the part.
Despite having acted in two movies and another scheduled soon, he said his background was purely athletic.
Born in Tasikmalaya, West Java, 43 years ago, the teenage Yayan followed in the footsteps of his brother, who did karate. But, Yayan preferred the Indonesian martial art of pencak silat.
“There was a new school [of pencak silat] that was experiencing quite a boom and I tried to enroll there … now it is called PTSD [Pencak Silat Tenaga Dasar] Indonesia. I finally became assistant coach and then I was summoned to Jakarta to become a professional trainer,” he said.
Unfortunately, he was unaware that his training to be a jury referee (wasit juri) in Jakarta would prevent him from participating in future tournaments. He was only told of the prohibition later when he tried to register for a tournament.
“It’s all right. If I can’t be an athlete, I’ll create athletes,” Yayan said, smiling.
His work with pencak silat since then has sent him to various places, including France, the Netherlands and Belgium, where he gave trainings for several months in 2007.
A year later he met Evans, who was doing research about pencak silat, and, later, a documentary on the subject. Yayan and several others, including Iko Uwai, who acted alongside him in Merantau and The Raid, were asked to do the choreography for the documentary. It was then that the idea to make a pencak silat film first came about.
Merantau began, and Yayan, Iko and several other pencak silat athletes arranged the choreography in four months, although, according to Yayan, they were absolute beginners in the world of moviemaking.
“[The pencak silat style] to be used to color the fighting scenes is Sile Harimau Minang … one of the difficult styles in Minang,” he said.
Yayan himself has studied a number of pencak silat styles, mostly from West Java and West Sumatra, as well as other martial arts such as aikido.
One fight scene can take several weeks to complete, and it takes a true pencak silat athlete to deliver a truly convincing performance in front of the camera, he said.
In The Raid he has fewer lines. Most of the dialogue is in the form of fight scenes.
“The important thing is character, how to do a movement with feeling … In conducting a movement, there is wiraga, wirasa, wirama. Wiraga is how the body displays the movement, wirama is whether one can create the rhythm in the performance, and wirasa is whether one can perform the movement with feeling,” Yayan said.
He discovered that roughly the same principle of “feeling” applies to acting as well.
“If I can quote an elder in the moviemaking world, acting is not about carrying it out seriously but carrying it out with feeling … I found out that it’s true. We often see a performance we might label good, but it’s just a performance that doesn’t get through … it has no feel to it,” Yayan said.
He is now working on more choreography for an upcoming project, again with Evans and Iko.
Yayan’s busy schedule in the moviemaking world has kept him from engaging in as much training as he used to.
However, he still finds time to train once or twice a week.
“I get up in the morning, train for two hours, and if Iko is [at the office], I will train with him,” he said.
Yayan has a number of people he looks up to in the pencak silat world. One of the most awe-inspiring for him is the late Enny Rukmini Sekarningrat, who was a teacher of the Panglipur pencak silat school.
“She was really a teacher who knew what she was doing and could be a teacher in the personal and intellectual sense,” he said.
His current dream is to make pencak silat something Indonesian youth are proud of. “Even though it seems like it will be very hard, God willing [I can do it]” he said.
Thanks to Merantau quite a few people did approach him to learn the Sile Harimau style. However, the movie also had some unexpected consequences. For six months after the release, people would recognize him in public as “Eric”.
“But I knew they were asking for Iko… ‘Why? You want me to tell him you said hello?’ [I would say],” Yayan laughed.
The problem subsided, however, when he started growing his hair long. “I am quite safe now,” he said, smiling.
THE MALAY CHRONICLES : BLOODLINES (HIKAYAT MERONG MAHAWANGSA) This epic action-adventure is based on ancient writings of the same name, also known as The Kedah Annals, which chronicles Merong Mahawangsa’s quest and the founding of Kedah.“We chose to bring this ancient Malay literature to the big screen because we were intrigued by its storyline,” says Norman.
The film follows the mighty warrior, said to be a descendant of Alexander the Great, as he assists the Romans in bringing their Prince Marcus Carpenius to meet and wed a Chinese princess in Southeast Asia.
The film received a financial grant from the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra contributed to its soundtrack. Celcom is its exclusive sponsor. The filmmakers also received financing from Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia to make a coffee-table book on the subject. After its success with Cicak-Man, Duyung and Magika, KRU Studios wanted to attempt a project with an international appeal, one with a universal theme.
“With the presence of the Romans and Chinese in the Merong Mahawangsa tale, we knew we had the right combination. And we also had the creative freedom to make the film bilingual,” says Norman, who produced the film with his brothers Yusry and Edry. Work quickly started, with research and writing of the screenplay by Amir Hafizi in 2008. Yusry took up the director’s mantle and cast talents with theatre background.
“Theatre actors are more expressive. Their body language and facial expressions are dynamic. As our cast comprises various nationalities, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, we’ve got a good mix,” says Norman.
Stephen Rahman-Hughes was picked to play the titular character. This London’s West End actor, dancer, choreographer and singer is best known on our shores as Hang Tuah from the successful theatre production Puteri Gunung Ledang The Musical. Hong Kong-born British actor Gavin Stenhouse plays the Roman prince while British actress Jing Lu takes on the Chinese princess. Other actors include Craig Fong, Henrik Norman, Datuk Rahim Razali, Ummi Nazeera, Nell Ng, Mano Maniam, Wan Hanafi Wan Su and Khir Rahman. Filming took up 52 days in 2009, at locations which included Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan and mostly Terengganu.
“We were working with a host of challenges — limited budget, a small team of animators, outdoor shooting with unexpected conditions. As it was our first time embarking on a project of this scale with extensive CGI effects, I’d say we did quite all right,” says Norman. I caught up with Norman again later — this time, with his two brothers and some of the cast — at a media event in Kuala Lumpur. Yusry stresses that while the film is based on the book Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa, what’s on the silver screen is very much KRU Studios’ interpretation. “Despite the creative adaptation, we have remained true to the tale. In the past, the penglipur lara (village storyteller) would add new elements to an existing storyline to make it more interesting to listeners. Films, in a way, are the modern-age penglipur lara.” And judging from the trailer, which has been making its rounds on TV and the Internet, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa may just have what it takes to woo today’s discerning audience. The film will open in local cinemas on March 10. Merging literature, myth and history KRU Studios has come up with a documentary to complement its latest flick, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa.
The documentary, which is also part of the film’s promotional initiatives, presents the viewpoints of various experts on such matters as Malaysian and Kedah history and the background of the book Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa.
Panelists featured include Professor Datuk Khoo Kay Kim (Malaysian historian), Datuk Dr Siti Hawa Salleh (philologist), Datuk Dr Wan Shamsudin Mohd Yusof (Kedah historian), Datuk Wira Mohd Shaariff Abu Samah (Kedah palace representative) and Mohan Shanmugam (Hindu Sangam Malaysia president).
“The aim of this documentary is to provide the audience with a better understanding of the story of Merong Mahawangsa,” says KRU Studios executive president Norman Abdul Halim.
Viewers will learn about the warrior and his role in the oral history of Malaysia.
The documentary includes interviews with film director Yusry Abdul Halim and scriptwriter Amir Hafizi, who elaborated on the steps taken to merge the elements of literature, myth and history to bring the film to life. “While we didn’t detract much from the basic storyline of the book, our big-screen adaptation may not carry a literal interpretation of the events,” says Yusry. The documentary, which cost RM40,000 to produce, was completed in November last year, immediately after the filming. The 42-minute documentary was first aired on TV3 on Feb 25. It will be included in the DVD and later made available for download online. — By LILI LAJMAN
Director Hanung Bramantyo is planning to release a new movie coinciding with the upcoming SEA Games 2011 in Jakarta and Palembang in November. He said that it was to enliven the event.
“I’m planning to release the new movie, titled ‘Mengejar Angin’ [Chasing After the Wind]. It is to celebrate the SEA Games in Palembang. We shot the movie in Bromo [East Java] and South Sumatra,” Hanung said in Jakarta.
He said the movie was about the Sumatran traditional martial art, pencak silat, and the local culture.
The movie features actors Lukman Sardi and Mathias Muchus, among others, tribunnews.com reported.
Big congratulations go out to writer-director Gareth Huw Evans, stars Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Yayan Ruhian and the rest of the team behind Indonesian action picture The Raid, which has just won the Cadillac People's Choice Midnight Madness Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
A largely non-competitive festival Toronto gives out very few awards, the most prominent of which are the People's Choice picks, three awards given based on audience ratings of the films with one each awarded to the Midnight Madness section, the Real To Reel documentary section and the overall festival at large.
As someone with a direct association to The Raid - I'm an executive producer on it - I have to say that we could not possibly be happier with the reception the film has received. The premiere screening was literally the first time anyone had seen the completed film in its entirety - post production was wrapped less than a week prior and the print shipped directly to the festival from the lab - and while we were pretty sure we knew what we had there's a huge difference between watching something in fragments, in isolation, and in uncomplete form, and hearing a crowd roar in appreciation at what's on screen.
More on the RAID
Very early in the introduction of characters and story in Gareth Huw Evans' new action martial arts extravaganza The Raid it not only becomes very clear to the viewer who the bad guy is, and that he is evil, full capital letters EVIL, but that this is a darker, leaner and meaner Evans and he means to take no prisoners. The scene involves four bullets, then a hammer, and if he didn't get your attention it meant you either covered your eyes or passed out you pansies. It's an attention grabber that is for sure and quickly sets the pace and tone for the rest of the film. By now you should know the premise of the film. A criminal overlord lives on the top floor of a large apartment building. It is wired to the nines with cameras and speakers. No one moves in this building without him knowing it. He owns everything and everyone inside it. Two-bit criminals take refuge behind its doors. Junkies get their fix in derelict apartments. Nearly everyone inside the building is bought and owned by this overlord. Iko Uwais is Rama, a rookie SWAT team member. One of twenty attempting to infiltrate this fortified complex and snatch the boss. Thing is, they are discovered and whole building turns on them and they have to fight for lives, from floor to floor, room by room. Do they continue with their mission? Or do they just try to get out and survive? Evans' direction in The Raid is inventive and dynamic. With his DoP Matt Flannery, they follow the action as well as emphasize it opting for hand held camera work that follows each fist, and foot, and elbow, and head... you get the idea. Clinical editing draws focus to moves and hits. Because the adrenaline level of The Raid is so much higher than that of their previous work Merantau you can forgive the quicker cuts. And it still works because Evans has so much respect for the hard work put in by Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian on the choreography that despite the close quarters combat, moving from room to room and floor to floor, he still manages to pull the camera back far enough to allow us to fully appreciate the scope of action. It is only his second film in and you can already pick up on a couple signature shots of his liking. The one shot where he follows Iko rising up from the floor from a lying position? Gareth did that in Merantau. He also likes placing the camera directly above his subjects, looking right down on them, and then spinning with the motion. While in Merantau he did while rounding a corner, he does it more than once in The Raid to grand effect when someone is getting slammed into a wall, pillar, cabinet... so on. And despite the great bounding energy of the direction and camera work Evans is no fool and understands the sometimes even in a high octane actioner like The Raid that less is more. He does marvelous work drawing out unsettling moments of violence by not really showing us anything at all. Whether it be with cuts before and after the moments of violence, shooting from the fourth wall, lighting effects, and depth of focus at the right time we're still playing out the moment in our heads and we still 'see' what we cannot see. He has also proven that he is quite adept at building tension to nerve fraying levels. It is the pacing of those moments; the crescendo of sound and music. He pulls us close to the breaking point and releases at the right time; either allowing us a moments reprieve or blowing it up in our faces. In the interest of full disclosure I have been privy to bits and bobs about The Raid pretty much since the word go. I got to see the five clips the film's sales team took to Cannes that triggered a rush of sales to nearly every territory in the World. There were other clips as well that would follow during production, all action, that showed off the incredible work that Gareth, Iko and Yayan were doing both in front of and behind the camera. I don't say this to brag. I say it because it is one thing to watch an unfinished clip without sound and post. You appreciate the work of those three guys in regards to action and choreography. But then it is another thing to watch the final piece and the pounding, throbbing soundtrack by Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal combined with post visual effects and sound. Special mention has to be made for the music and sound production for now that I have had this inside perspective I have a better understanding of its importance to the end product and how much better proper production enhances the final result. In regards to Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian and there work on the choreography. Holy. Crap! There are not enough words to describe it. Fluid and Fierce. Precise and Powerful. Complex and Crushing. They have proven themselves not only capable of staging great fight sequences but also at adapting the Indonesian martial art Pencak Silat to include modern weapons/tools as extensions of themselves. Any questions about the impact and strength of Silat raised from Merantau are quickly and punishingly answered in The Raid. Evans is in an enviable position in Jakarta that he has access to an enormous talent pool of martial arts talent apart from Silat. Case in point, Joe Taslim in the role of Jaka. He's a former Indonesian National Judo Champion and Iko and Yayan went through great lengths to ensure the audience gets a hearty sample of throws and blows from him. The fight between Jaka and Yuyan's Mad Dog is visceral eye candy, plain and simple. Speaking of Mad Dog. Yayan Ruhian is damned pit bull in this film; just an absolute monster and beast in this film. You know what is more unsettling? Anyone at the screening last night could see that Iko and Joe are not large burly men when compared to your average North American male. Yuyan is even smaller but his presence is that of a giant in the film. And kudos to Doni Alamsyah as well. I hope to find out more about him when I speak to Gareth and the boys later next week but he holds his own when it comes to throwing down. What I also found impressive about the choreography, other than the fact that it is brutally violent and bloody, was when it came down to the melees I loved how the flow of motion and energy sometimes changed mid stride. I've watched unfinished clips over and over again so I've studied them more carefully than a first time screening can allow but during some of the fights you think the action is going in one direction and they throw it or beat it in the opposite direction. Particularly during the Jaka and Mad Dog fight. This works especially well here because of Joe's discipline in Judo. There are a lot of throws. But they move in the opposite direction of where you think they're going. Mad Dog has Jaka by the head and they're running to towards the wall and you think Mad Dog's just going to ram it but he uses the wall to vault off of and knee Jaka in the head instead. That fight is the best example of that change in flow in direction that I noticed. And I love how surprising it and all the choreography is. There have been a great many duos in the action and martial arts world. Modern masters included John Woo and Chow Yun-fat; Jackie Chan and Edward Tang; Jet Li and either combination of Corey Yeun and Tsui Hark. Leaders of the new school were for a short while Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen, and Prachya Pinkaew and Tony Jaa. With The Raid Evans and Uwais not on confirm they are solid contenders in the genres but clearly the current title holders as well. All challengers are welcome but they best be warned, they'll be met with a combat boot to the face. Evans, Uwais and crew have done it again! They didn't just knock it out of the park. They knocked it unconscious and threw the bodies over the outfield wall where no one will ever find them.
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