Judge Dredd is a staple of the British comic industry. His exploits have been documented in a fantastic story arc, with Dredd getting older through each issue and his view points changing throughout the comic book series.
So it is not surprising that this wealth of Mega-City 1 history would eventually be mined for the big screen.
Unfortunately, the first time around was Stallone’s 1995 flick, which made a bit of a mess of it all, and the U.K.’s beloved Dredd was not only unmasked (a big no-no for the fans), but given a slightly ropey plot line which never seemed to gel together, despite drawing certain elements directly from the comics. Oh and having Rob Schneider as Fergie is frigging unforgivable! Overall, it was a bust.
Dredd’s second theatrical outing was amazing. Karl Urban as the stone-chinned one (who does not remove his helmet) is fantastic. Even though the film did not do so well at the box office, it had a strong showing on DVD, and a loyal fan base just waiting for word on more Dredd action. Will a sequel ever happen?
Well the fans clearly want on, as does the film’s star. Urban spoke with Yahoo News in May this year;
Once it came out on DVD and it sold 750,000 copies in the first week alone in North America alone, it was very clear that the audience had discovered it
The fans are demanding to have more and it would be a real privilege to continue that story. There’s just a goldmine of fantastic stories in the 2000 AD Judge Dredd canon that would be really marvelous to see on-screen
So it is clear that the demand is there for a return to the world of Dredd. But was a film sequel the best way of going about it? Our very own Brian Kronner wrote an interesting article on the fact that Dredd could quite easily live on through an original Netflix series. There would be ample time to concentrate on the characters and the stories this way too. The Flash, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and now Preacher are just a few examples of shows that have been able to gradually show off the massive history of their literary counterparts.
While all this speculation is going on, an appearance at a comic convention changed everything. Last week, while at the Denver Comic Con, Karl Urban was asked if he would do another Dredd movie. This seems like a slightly obvious question as Urban has been quite vocal in his support of the movie and the character, even going so far as to urge fans to support the movie via petition at the 2012 Emerald City Comic-Con. Luckily we got an answer which gives some cause for celebration.
Yes. Dredd 2 is in development.
While this awesome news spread through various Facebook groups and websites, something else was happening which also gave fans hope that the movie was moving forward. Especially since this all followed Karl being seen at the 2000AD offices, and also having a chat with Jason Kingsley co-founder and CEO of Rebellion publishing. You can draw your own conclusions there and many people did; The sequel was going to happen.
And then it all came crashing down. As the internet was aflutter with talk of the project, news arrived that in fact his words at the Denver Comic Con may have been misinterpreted by some. On his Twitter feed he had this to say;
It seems like always that money is a big issue here (according to producer Adi Shankar). Have a look at his video on how he would go about making the Dredd sequel. If nothing else it will bring you some comfort that in the future maybe this sequel will see the light of day.
So we are back to square one, no Dredd sequel so far, but let us be grateful we have at least had one great Dredd movie, and who knows what the future will bring. It has certainly changed enough over the last few years. We will keep you posted when we get more good (or bad) news.
Grizzly Bomb has covered the Karl Urban movie in some detail, but if it’s news on the comic book character you want, then look no further as we also have information on some of Dredd’s greatest team-ups, the new Alien vs Predator vs Judge Dredd comic book series, and great Dredd inspired artwork. There is also a ton of excellent short Judge Dredd inspired videos which you can read about here to.
Images: Buena Vista Pictures, Lionsgate, 2000 AD