5 Reasons Why We Need a Dredd Sequel

by on February 3, 2014

It may have flopped at the box office, but Dredd starring Karl Urban made it’s way into our comic-loving hearts and made us want more.

It’s been two years since Dredd was released in theatres, and to say it didn’t do well is a compliment. The film flat out flopped, but it wasn’t because the movie was terrible—quite the opposite, in fact. One of the contributing factors to its failure to find the right footing at the box office was its fierce competition. While it only shared the box office it’s release weekend with films like End of Watch and House at the End of the Street, 2012 was a big year for films in general. Earlier in the year we saw the release of The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games and The Amazing Spider-Man.

With heroes like Iron Man, Batman and Spider-Man at the box office, who remembers about a film called Dredd? The R rating didn’t help it at all, but it wouldn’t be what it is without it. I for one am happy to see a film like this take on an R rating and not be one bit afraid of it. That’s what Judge Dredd is. An R rated film.

With an approval rating of 7/10 on imdb.com and 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s clear that the movie was much more than people considered it would be. For a fan of the comics like me, it was almost everything I could have hoped for. Here’s 5 things the creators did right and why this film franchise needs to carry on.

The Cast

Karl Urban seemed like he practiced Dredd’s signature scowl in the mirror for weeks before putting on that helmet. It wasn’t just his physical appearance (though it certainly helped) that made the character come to life though. Dredd is a man of mystery, and it was clear Urban did his research before accepting the role. The actor seems to have found his place nestled in comfortably in the world of sci-fi, and I for one think he really belongs there.

It’s hard to picture anyone else other than Olivia Thirlby as Anderson. Once I saw her onscreen she was like the comic book character had come to life. A sequel would hopefully delve a little bit more into her and what she’s about whilst not taking too much time away from the action. Dredd and Anderson are well developed, intricate characters that need a bit of special attention on screen.

Olivia Thirlby as Anderson Karl Urban as Dredd

Olivia Thirlby as Anderson
Karl Urban as Dredd

The Writing

Alex Garland brought the gritty world of Mega-City One to life on the big screen and in a big way. He didn’t give much dialogue to Dredd, something I really appreciated. This isn’t the first time he’s written in the sci-fi genre either; he also penned 28 Days Later in 2002, and Sunshine in 2007, as well as a dystopian science fiction called Never Let Me Go in 2010. One of the best details about the first Dredd film is that upon meeting Urban, Garland let him know that Dredd would not be removing his helmet in the film. Garland is definitely a writer I trust with writing the sequel to the film, and despite his busy schedule, would be an easy first choice.

Judge Death!

A leader of the Dark Judges, Judge Death is Dredd’s most aggressive (and popular) foe. For those not comic savvy, he leads a group of sinister undead law enforcers from an alternate dimension. Only the living commit crimes, so just living in this alternate universe is a crime. Death is a spirit that inhabits corpses, has limited supernatural strength (such as the ability to phase) and loves to kill in particularly gruesome ways. Relentless, twisted and evil, Death belongs on the big screen—so long as it’s done correctly. Since Death is usually just a walking corpse, some hardcore CGI would have to be done to bring the character properly to life (figuratively speaking), or some amazing makeup work. One man who certainly knows ‘death makeup’ is Greg Nicotero, the makeup artist and occasional producer of the show, The Walking Dead.


Dredd: Underbelly

Having just hit comic book stores January 29th, this comic is a direct follow up to the 2012 film. If you are looking for it in the UK and the US though, reports have been given through 2000AD’s Facebook page that this title has already sold out! If your local comic book store has ordered them, you may be in luck, or you can download digitally for the iPad and the Kindle Fire. The sellout of these is good news for the prospects of a sequel and will give fellow Dredd fans something to read that ties into the movie (and it’s a great way to get film fans immersed in Dredd’s comic world too), but some people are convinced that with the comic coming out, the chance of the film sequel is slim. With the success the comic is having though, it very well could go either way.

The Fans Want It

I wouldn’t necessarily say that comic book fans are hard to please with comic book movies here and there, but it seems the community at large were incredibly impressed with Dredd. In fact, it received such a positive response that 200AD created a Dredd Sequel Petition they would like to send to Lionsgate to show just how many people are interested in the film. (You can sign the petition if you haven’t already by visiting this link. )

If you are a fan of the film and want to see a sequel, sign the petition, tweet about it and share this article on Facebook! I for one can’t wait for another Dredd movie if they get approved, so long as Karl Urban is Dredd and we forget the whole Stallone movie ever happened…

Leave a reply »

  • Harry McMahon
    February 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    This was a great movie, let down by woeful marketing and by the incomprehensible insistence that it was pushed onto the unknowing cinema audience as Dredd 3D instead of just, Dredd. Lack of 2D screenings has hurt it badly. When will film makers realise that not everyone can watch 3D movies, so they need to offer the alternative. As a life long fan of Judge Dredd I almost wish the movie wasn’t made, as it dangled the hope of an enduring franchise in front of us, only to squander the opportunity they were given. I guess it’ll take another 15 years to get yet another re-boot. 🙁

    • Ashley Beeching
      February 3, 2014 at 5:36 pm

      I take your point Harry, but I’d still rather have one great Dredd film than none at all!

      • Harry McMahon
        February 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

        It just felt as if we were given a taste of what was possible from this rich mine of stories, only for it to be snatched away from us. But I suppose having an excellent Dredd movie is a consolation 🙂

      February 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      They didn’t squander the opportunity, they made a good film; Dredd was always going to have a tough time even if the marketing campaign was the best that money could buy. The Stallone fiasco, now that was squandering of Herculean proportions.

      • Harry McMahon
        February 5, 2014 at 10:49 am

        I accept that the movie was exactly right, and I’ve watched it now well into the double figures and it always impresses me. I feel it was let down by the marketing / promotion department, as well as pushing the 3D aspect. I live on the North Coast in Northern Ireland, pretty much as far away from Belfast as you can get, and only 1 cinema within 50 miles was showing it in 2D. If you’re the sort of person who can’t watch 3D movies, or if you’re friend / partner can’t, then you won’t drive that distance to see it. You’ll go see something else. I know a fair number of people for whom 3D gives them headaches, makes them ill or they simply can’t ‘see’ it because of their eyesight. So, I am angry at the wasted opportunity to showcase a great movie, which would have kicked off an amazing franchise by the insistence to market it a solely 3D movie.

        Another thing, where’s all the Dredd merchandise from the movie? Even the cheaper stuff like posters, badge key rings etc… I know these are expensive to produce, and with it being an 18 movie, I wouldn’t expect a range of action figures for the kids.

        Basically, great movie, crap marketing.

  • PeteBevan
    February 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I don’t want to be a pedant but there are a couple of things in there that aren’t quite correct. Urban was a long time Dredd fan, and Karl Urban and Alex Garland went to see John Wagner (the original writer of Dredd). The first question Wagner asked was if Karl planned on removing his helmet, Karl looked shocked and said of course not. From that moment on the film essentially got John Wagners blessing.

      February 3, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      To increase the pedantry, it was Alex Garland and Producer Andrew McDonald who went to see Wagner (at the Peach Tree cafe) and consulted with him while the script was being written. Karl Urban didn’t meet John Wagner until Wagner visited the set when the film was being shot.

  • Ashley Beeching
    February 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Dredd was a fantastic film and it was rare to have such a strong female character in a genre film, who wasn’t just there as some male fantasy and was equal to the main protagonist. The filmmakers’s should be applauded.
    Make a sequel! 🙂

  • Randy Watson & Sexual Chocolat
    February 4, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    This was such a kick ass movie, best comic book movie of 2012, such a shame it never found a big enough audience

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