Joe Carnahan’s remake of The Raid has become original film Zeno

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

A couple years ago, it was announced that Joe Carnahan would be directing a remake of Gareth Evans' incredible action film THE RAID: REDEMPTION for XYZ Films. Speaking with Collider this week, Carnahan revealed that he has parted ways with XYZ Films since that announcement, and XYZ owns the rights to THE RAID. The good news is, Carnahan still holds the rights to make the script he wrote for the remake with Adam G. Simon, that didn't get left behind with XYZ. So now he intends to bring his story – which is different enough from Evans' film to stand on its own – to the screen as an original film titled ZENO, named after the lead character.

Frank Grillo is attached to star in the film. As with THE RAID, there are two brothers at the center of the action in ZENO, and apparently there's a "big name" in talks to play Grillo's brother, while another name is up for the role of the main villain.

Carnahan has previously said that he wants the entire film to "feel like the knife fight between Adam Goldberg and the German in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN". He said we meet Grillo's character when he has 

just rotated back from a really, really, brutal special forces operation. He’s got soft tissue damage in his hands, and his rotator cuff is blown out, and they take fluid off his knees, and the doctors basically tell him, “Listen you’re at the razor’s edge of PTSD and you need three months of just nothing, some R&R, because you’re jacked up.’ And in that space, he gets the message that his brother, who he thought had been dead for four years, is actually alive and working for a very bad guy in Caracas, and in 18 hours they’re gonna kill his brother. These forces are gonna descend and murder the bad guy and murder the brother, so do you wanna go and get your brother, who you thought is dead? Do you want that opportunity? So that’s where we start."

As of 2017, the story was set in Caracas, Venezuela, and the characters who conduct "the raid" are a special forces team that have all taken beatings along the lines of what was described for Grillo's character. These are "the walking wounded". During the Collider Q&A, Carnahan said these characters 

don't ever intend to actually go in [to the building]. They think that they’re gonna move this guy. So their whole operation is, 'We're gonna’ hit this guy in transit.' It’s not until they realize, 'Oh, they're digging in, they're not moving, we've got to now go in and get him.' It’s a very, very different script… It's really, really, really about the brothers."

Carnahan has also said 

It’s a very different relationship with the brothers, because their father is a very centrifugal figure in this thing. Without getting too deep into it it’s all about the idea that a man is able to create the version of himself that surpasses himself, but one of them sees him for what he really is, which is not this world beater. … So the argument between these two brothers, the split between them, is about their dad. He built these things that are superior and that are real soldiers, but he’s not that. You bought that line, I didn’t buy that line. I went my way and you went your way."

So we have a good amount of information about this project, we just thought it was Carnahan's THE RAID that we knew about. Turns out, it's Carnahan's ZENO. The change is fine by me, I'm looking forward to seeing this no matter what it's called.

Carnahan and Grillo are currently gearing up to work on a film called LEO FROM TOLEDO with Mel Gibson (they recently worked with him on the upcoming film BOSS LEVEL), and once that's complete they'll move on to ZENO.

Source: Collider

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.