5 Reasons Why We Need a Dredd Sequel

5 Reasons Why We Need a Dredd Sequel

February 3, 2014 10 By Steph Mernagh

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…