January 27, 2014

RAID Director Gareth Evans Wants To Make R-Rated IRON FIST Movie

Gareth Evans seemingly has blown everyone away with his sequel to the Raid, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Evans has stated previously that he would be interested in making a feature film focusing on Marvel's Iron Fist. The character is getting a live-action adaptation on television for Marvel's Netflix series, while there had been a film in development for ages. Gareth continues to mention his desire to TotalFilm, but brings up the rating restrictions that would need to be removed for it to work for him. Stating the project would need to be rated-R for it to look real enough for him.

Totally, yeah. I'm not averse to it. My big thing right now is figuring out how to do that action style - and would someone like Marvel let me do a R-rated movie?
This isn't me going against PG-13 movies, it's just that the way I shoot action, it doesn't need to be bloody or aggressive or 'stabby stabby' with knives, but it's about when someone swings a punch and there's a connection there, I'm not going to hide that with a camera. I get involved with the guys in that choreography design so I can understand the intricacies of what they've done, so that when I shoot it, what the camera angles should be and the editing should be, it's doing justice to all the work they've put into it.
In PG-13 action, you hide the chaos and fill it with sound. That's something I can't do. So [if I made a comic book movie], it'd have to be an R.

Gareth is easily the most interesting new action director working today, and even more rare is that he specializes in martial arts flicks. The Raid trilogy is quickly amping up expectations, as has apparently succeeded the first film with Berandal. A rather large feat to accomplish, as Redemption was one intense ride. He's yet to be tossed into the Hollywood machine, which might be attractive to Marvel since they seem to hire outsider directors for their projects.

Taking on a Marvel project and being enthused about it, seems to be a running theme lately with recent directors like Edgar Wright (Ant-Man), James Gunn (Guardians of The Galaxy) and Russo Brothers (Winter Soldier). Seeing the studio hire passionate directors might become a regular thing. Scouting talent or finding hired guns, hasn't always worked out for them. While the Thor films are interesting and entertaining, you can tell Kenneth Branagh and Alan Taylor weren't exactly passionate about the characters or the MCU. I doubt they really even knew about the comics before being approached to direct. Having someone like Evans who loves genre and actual knows a C-Level Marvel character like Iron Fist, shows that he could end up just as excited about the material as Wright or Gunn.

Ray Park (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, X-Men) was once attached to play Danny Rand years back, but it's unknown if he'll be asked to return for either the Netflix series or a future film. Having a an actual fighter in the lead might be a solid way to attract an amazing action director like Evans, who wants to see actual blows take place in camera. If we're talking about an action actor that is able to read lines, while also kicking-ass on a high-level, Scott Adkins would be Marvel's man for the job.

 He's already been apart of the Marvel universe, doing the stunt work for Fox's controversial take on Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. When Zack Snyder was casting the new Batman for Batman Vs Superman, Scott was called-in to audition for the role, thanks in-part to an online campaign. Even if Scott doesn't land the role of Danny Rand, he needs to be at least considered for Orson Randall (since he also has lots of weapons training as well). He's also the type of actor that would be available to take on both the Netflix series and film.

They could also look at regular actors to lead the series and film. Marvel has been looking at bigger names lately for roles, landing folks like Robert Redford, Michael Douglas and Bradley Cooper to take-on MCU characters. I can see the studio aiming for big names in the future, since Disney is able to help wrangle high-profile talent. I wouldn't be shocked to see a former Disney star be considered, Ryan Gosling has been a fan favorite for the role of Danny. It doesn't hurt that Ryan had some fight training for Only God Forgives, giving him an edge when it comes to the fight scenes. Ryan has been vocal about never wanting to do a superhero film, but that could change if they land an interesting director like Evans. Other fan favorites for the role include Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund.


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