Gareth Evans is, with the exception of George Miller, the finest action filmmaker working today. Both The Raid and The Raid 2 exhibit such a masterful command of action choreography that it's almost embarrassing watching some of the half-ass fight scenes in Hollywood action films afterwards.
Evans was approached for several big Hollywood movies, and there was one in particular that he came very close to making. In the end, he opted to continue to make films outside of the system, working instead with the same stunt team and the same actors that have made his films so far so compelling. He's been gearing up for his next film, Blister, for a while now, and I'm dying to see whatever it is.
In the meantime, though, I know he's been just as eager to get back behind the camera, and he's been thinking about how to adapt the silat that has been such an important part of his action language so far to totally different styles of filmmaking. To that end, he worked with Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman to design a short samurai film in which a young woman is tasked with carrying a message from one warlord to another, only to find herself facing two warriors, both determined to take that message from her.
The whole thing was shot in three days, and it was all shot by Evans himself, with no other crew. Ruhian and Rahman, along with Hannah Al Rashid, performed the entire thing with no doubles. What this illustrates, more than anything else, is just what makes Evans a great action filmmaker. Even within this short test reel, he still focuses on the storytelling, even within the fights. He understands innately that action is boring if there are no stakes, no compelling reason to watch the action. This isn't really a full short film, but more or less a proof of concept, and as always, I find myself dying to see whatever feature film Evans and his great cast and crew make next.
For more details, you can consult the YouTube page where Evans initially posted the video.