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What I'd really like (but I know we're not going to get) is a proper old-fashioned Dredd, drawing on the huge amount of material in, say, the first 400 progs. I want to see Uglies, Blobs, the League of Fatties, the Palais de Boing, the Smokatorium, Resyk, mo-pads, knee-pads, massive boots, Uncle Ump, Max Normal, Call-Me-Kenneth and Walter the Robot.

Of course I'd settle for a half-decent film that doesn't mess about with the key elements of the story, but even that's probably hoping for too much...

Yeah. Judge Dredd as dark and violent would bore me to tears. Judging by the concept art, that's what they're going for. Yawn.

Judge Dredd as hilarious parody of America / modern society is much, much better. Bright, colourful, daft and funny, with the fatties and the uglies and the jimps, and the fashion crazes that last less than a day. That's the only thing that would hold any interest for me.

Uncle Ump's an amazing story. The poor fella did nothing wrong!

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I can't imagine anyone putting up money to produce a new movie would be willing to part with their cash for anything but dark and violent at the moment. The best we can hope for is a film with a lot of the mad stuff in the background and Dredd delivering some very deadpan lines.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 6 months later...


Rewind, for a minute, back to last Christmas. That's when we first learned that the long-mooted plans to have another stab at bringing Judge Dredd back to the big screen were moving ahead. Dredd, of course, was the subject of a debatable 1995 movie, starring Sylvester Stallone and directed by Danny Cannon (now best known for lots of CSI episodes).

For a long time, it was assumed that the commercial and critical reaction to the Dredd movie had killed the chances of Ol' Stoney Face returning to the big screen. But last December, it was announced on the 2000AD forums that Rebellion and 2000AD were teaming up with Danny Boyle's DNA Films (who, in turn, is covered by a deal with Fox Searchlight) to give Dredd a second shot at cinematic stardom. Our original story on the news can be found here.

As is usually the drill, of course, things then went quiet. That was until comics artist Jock dropped a small single comment on his Twitter feed: "working through script visuals for JUDGE DREDD movie. Alex Garland writes a great script."

Now how's that for a piece of news?

Alex Garland is a long time Danny Boyle collaborator, of course, ever since the director brought The Beach to the big screen in 2000. Garland has since gone on to write the screenplays of both Sunshine and 28 Days Later for Boyle, and this is, to my knowledge anyway, the first word that he's been involved in the script for Judge Dredd. In fact, from the tone of that Tweet, it reads as if a screenplay for the film (or at least a draft of it) has been written. Or am I just reading too much into that?

If the project, however, is at some form of visualisation stage, it does open up questions as to how close Judge Dredd is to finding a director. Could Boyle himself be tempted? He's shown just how far he can stretch a modest budget with his underappreciated sci-fi flick Sunshine, and surely must be a major candidate (even though he ruled himself out of the project at the start of the year - but still...).

Slashfilm, incidentally, has some concept art from Jock that emerged earlier this year for the new Dredd movie. You can find its post here.

The current plan is for the Judge Dredd movie to be in cinemas for 2012, but we wouldn't expect further details on it for a while yet.

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  • 1 month later...

Hmm...bit ominous..This is from the MCM Expo in London, courtesy of /Film

Meanwhile, a less high profile event saw Alan Grant joining a group of comics creators in discussing multi-media crossovers such as comics adapting stories from other media, and other media leeching ideas from the comics world. What connected these two panels? Talk of DNA’s upcoming Judge Dredd movie.

Coming off of a question about production and concept design for The Losers and its relationship to Jock’s original art in the comic, I asked Jock about the Judge Dredd picture for which he’s been creating concept art and for which Alex Garland has written a screenplay. I wanted to know what we all want to know: is there a director attached? Quite simply, he said no, “there’s not a director attached at the moment”.

It became clear that Grant had no real idea how likely a new Judge Dredd film was becoming. When asked, he told us that neither he nor John Wagner, Dredd’s creator, had heard anything from Rebellion or DNA and that no kind of input from the comic’s team had been sought. This, he wanted us to know, was the reason he felt the first film went so disastrously wrong. He’s clearly expecting the same from the second.

Time to feel a little less optimistic about the new Dredd? Maybe, but I’m still feeling pretty good about it. I’m sure my not-so-secret hope that Mark Romanek will sign on and turn it into a Blade Runner killer will end up little more than a delirious fantasy, though.

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  • 6 months later...

It has financing in place ($50m) and a director, Pete Travis (Vantage Point).

From /Film:

We’ve been hearing about the possibility of a new Judge Dredd movie for some time. Now the project has taken a big step closer to being real: in a deal made just prior to Cannes, where the film will be shopped around for distribution, Andrew Macdonald’s company DNA Film has made a deal to finance Judge Dredd as a 3D feature with a budget around $50m. And there’s a director: Vantage Point’s Pete Travis.

But here’s the catch, and the part that could, somehow, be reason to hope this version won’t suck: this is not a studio financing deal. The money comes from Indian outfit Reliance Big Entertainment. Without a studio calling some of the bone-headed shots that made the Sylvester Stallone version miss the mark, could this be…good?

Read more: New Judge Dredd Movie Gets Financing; Pete Travis to Direct | /Film http://www.slashfilm.com/2010/05/10/new-ju.../#ixzz0ncTd1tz3

Although the director might not instil confidence his TV work is much better than his one and only film. Whether he is the right man for the job and whether the budget is sufficient enough will become more apparent in time.

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  • 3 months later...

Dredd is cast!

A few weeks back, there were murmurings out of Comic-Con that the new Judge Dredd had been cast and that it would be none other than New Zealand's own Karl Urban ("Bones" McCoy from Star Trek with upcoming comic movies Red and Priest). Empire Online has gotten confirmation from the film's producers Andrew MacDonald and Allon Reich, who were asked about it during a Q 'n' A at the first Movie-Con, currently taking place in London. MacDonald confirmed the casting reported as a scoop by Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston last month.

Here's what else MacDonald said about the project during the Q 'n' A:

“The main thing about Dredd is that it’s a fantastic comic that was completely messed up 20 years ago. Our idea is to make a very hard, R-rated, gritty, realistic movie of Dredd in Megacity, so we’ve got to get the tone right. He’s not going to take off his helmet. His bike is going to feel real. He’s going to hit people and it’s going to feel real. There’s been a change in comic-book movies; they were treated unseriously and now they’re treated seriously."

Director Pete Travis (Vantage Point) will begin shooting Judge Dredd in Johannesburg, South Africa with the same people who made Neill Blomkamp's District 9 later this year.

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Now I'm no fan of the Stallone movie (in fact it prompted me to stop buying 2000AD for about 15 years) but my heart sinks a bit when I read words like "very hard, R-rated, gritty, realistic". I know it's never going to happen but I want mo-pads, knee-pads, the League of Fatties and Boing!®. Basically I want a film version of what Dredd was like when I was ten.

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