Is Dredd Really Dead?

Posted: September 8, 2016 in Comics, JD Hardin, Movies, TV
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

By: JD Hardin

On July 11, 2012 comic book fans finally got a Judge Dredd film they felt they deserved. While I have read quite a few Dredd comics, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a die hard Dredd fan. Regardless of that fact, I found the ’95 film to be an insult to the property and the genre of comic book films as a whole. While Stallone had the potential to play Dredd perfectly (yeah, I said that), the script and story didn’t have a clue of what Judge Dredd is really all about.

Seventeen years later, I caught wind that the property had released another film. Yep, I had missed the theatrical release by about a year. I asked a few friends if they knew about it and the one’s who did either saw it at the theater by chance or thought it was a straight to video release. That speaks volumes about the kind of marketing the film experienced. That’s quite a shame. The film is absolutely incredible and Karl Urban brings the post-apocalyptic character an incredible presence. Staying true to the comics, Judge Dredd never removes his helmet. While this makes for an impressive and unwavering appearance, it makes the role incredibly difficult for the actor. Urban commented on the fact that the role was his most challenging role as he was forced to convey all emotions with body language and the lower part of his face. In spite of the severe difficulty in playing the role, Urban did an incredible job as Dredd.

Image result for karl urban dredd

Ever since Dredd was released, fans have been begging for a Dredd 2. So much so, that in early 2013 a petition was launched to persuade the studio. By September 2013 the petition had acquired over 80,000 signatures. Still, Lionsgate and DNA Films remained unswayed due to poor box office sales. With an estimated budget of $30-45 million, producer Alex Garland stated that box office totals would have to surpass $50 million to give a sequel a chance. Heavily criticized for extremely poor marketing, the film only grossed a lack luster $41.5 million, and Lionsgate and DNA Films would most assuredly never give Dredd 2 a go-ahead. Even Karl Urban has spoken out about the film’s marketing campaign, stating that the film had “zero audience awareness. Nobody knew the movie was being released. Dredd represents a failure in marketing, not filmmaking.”

Well, fans can finally take a breath as Urban has once again spoken out about Dredd at the recent Denver Comic Con. “Dredd represented a failure in marketing. I saw the tracking of that film weeks before it came out and the fundamental problem was no one knew it was being released,” Urban told Yahoo! News. “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.” While this in no way says anything about whether or not Dredd 2 will become a reality, he did say that “conversations are happening” pertaining to Dredd reaching the small screen via a streaming service such as Amazon Prime or Netflix. Once again, nothing is being confirmed, but the odds are getting better. This past May in an interview Urban went on to say “the success it has achieved in all post-theatrical mediums has definitely strengthened the argument in favor of a sequel. But it’s not an easy sell.”

Image result for karl urban dredd 2

Garland has also gone on record to say that Dredd was the first part of an intended trilogy with the second film to give a cinematic origin to Judge Dredd and Mega City One, and the third to introduce the Dark Judges to finish off the trilogy.

Now while nothing has begun production, and there is no confirmation of a script, there still is hope for the borderline fascist anti-hero. The fans have been noticed, and our voices heard, all we can do now is wait. With any luck, Dredd is far from dead.



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