Saturday, March 30, 2013

Judge Dredd Movies: A return trip to Resyk?

Just when you think you've done away with the Law, it threatens a comeback. The Box-Office failure of Dredd last year is a matter of historical record, and despite really healthy UK BluRay sales (it topped the charts quite emphatically on the day of release), for now it seem that its main problem was not the dedication of its small but significant fanbase, or the large budget, but possibly a bungled promotional effort. Maybe. What I do know is that the 'Dredd Deserved Better' meme is still with us (recent typical comment on Ain't It Cool News' boards: "Drok (sic) anyone that didn't see Dredd in 3D in the theater. You never get to complain about anything ever again. It's now my prerequisite question if I catch any of you bitching about movies. Did you see Dredd in 3D at the theater? No? Well then you can just fuck off because you are part of the problem. They made a perfect movie that is everything you have ever asked for and you didn't show up.")

 All is not lost, however. Executive Producer Adi Shankar confirmed recently on Reddit that he is planning a small scale short along the lines of the well-received Punisher short Dirty Laundry. The fact that Shankar named Dirty Laundry and that said short starred the most recent cinematic Punisher Thomas Jane has a lot of Dredd fanboys (myself among them) hoping that we might see Karl Urban in the helmet once more. But it's a long road, and nothing's certain - well, apart from this version probably not being in 3D (Shankar wasn't mad about '3D' even being in the title). There's also a precedent from before Dirty Laundry: Batman fans made convention favourite Batman : Dead End on a modest location and budget, and recently Morgue linked to a Wonder Woman short made by an aspiring action film director, but the difference here is of course who's behind the story and who has the rights. With a sequel being reliably out of contention, a ten-minute mini budget Dredd on YouTube might be the best we get, and a decent hope for any interest in the movie outside of video shops and the torrents. I hope it get made, and I really hope it will feature at least Urban once more - but I'm expecting this to be small, and hoping for some wit this time. And no Dark Judges, because... just no. There's over thirty years of one-shot Dredd stories that could make fun shorts, and no end of talented writers who know the character, plus fans who'd lap this up. Bring it on.

And in the mean-time of course, next month sees the online release of Judge Minty, a new trailer for which is hosted on, and while it's not strictly Dedd's story, it is a Dredd adaptation, and a classic, too. From the looks of it it should be well worth waiting for.


  1. I loved Dredd, but didn't see it in the cinema. I see maybe one or two movies per year in cinemas these days. So I have it on BluRay. It was, as many 2000AD readers have said before me, a perfect realisation of the character, if not a particularly accurate version of Mega City One.

    But the reasons I saw most often for people dismissing it and discouraging others from going to see it, were its similarities to The Raid: Redemption (futuristic action in a single building), which was made about a year after Dredd had started shooting but was released first; and the lingering bad taste of the Stallone version. Being a movie gossip fan it still surprises me that most people don't know the kinds of details that I know, and I was stunned to see people assume it was a direct sequel to the 1995 Stallone version, and assumed he was even going to be in it, even as late as while they were walking into the cinema. Did none of them bother to read the names on the poster? Look at the trailer? Read a popular movie site like IGN or ComingSoon? Apparently not. You can't compete with wilful ignorance of that level.

  2. Oh, I totally agree. Marketing failure on the part of making this a separate property from the Stallone version hit the movie hard. of course it could well be argued that had Stallone worn (however briefly) the helmet in Dredd 3D then we might have had a more successful movie from it - and of course, the original movie trumps the remake in the box office quite comfortably. Sigh.

    Comparisons to The Raid were stupid and immature. Did anyone complain that Star Wars was a lot of The Hidden Fortress and stay away because of it? I hear The raid's a pretty impressive film - but I'm not interested in martial arts movies, so I won't be running to see it. Like I read on AICN, those who didn't use the internet to check the facts and complained afterwards, got no reason.

    On the other hand, the opportunities to create and see Judge Minty and ten-minute Dredd is just what we created the Internet for, right? :)