COULD DREDD 2 STILL HAPPEN?
We LOVE JUDGE DREDD at Movie Viral. The comics! The graphic novels! The crossovers (JUDGEMENT ON GOTHAM!). The political satire meets sci-fi fun! The darkness and the action and the very black but brilliant humo(u)r! Heck, we even like the 1995 movie starring SYLVESTER STALLONE (JUDGE DREDD).
But what we loved MOST? DREDD: The movie from 2012, starring KARL URBAN. Sadly, the movie under-performed financially. But it is already a beloved cult classic and sure enough, a sequel is being campaigned for, still.
COLIN MORRIS considers the case
When DREDD was released in 2012, it was already something of an outlier. Judge Dredd is one of the few truly prominent comic book heroes who doesn’t hail from Marvel or DC lore, and thus wasn’t affiliated with either studio’s lineup of popular films.
Instead, the Judge Dredd character comes from British comic 2000 AD, and the film was distributed by Lionsgate and Entertainment Film Distributors.
Unfortunately, the disadvantage of being associated with Marvel or DC seemed to hurt DREDD, at least by comparison to other superhero- and comic-based movies. The film performed rather disastrously at the box office. BOX OFFICE MOJO shows a $35 million worldwide gross on a $50 million production budget. That pretty much much defined DREDD as a box-office flop and certainly not the kind of movie that Hollywood types look to for sequel potential.
But that hasn’t stopped fans of the character or even lead actor Karl Urban himself from trying to make it happen. Karl suggested that fans sign a petition and “like” the Dredd 2 Facebook page, in the hopes of helping to sway the studio toward a follow-up project.
There have also been suggestions of CROWDFUNDING campaigns to help pay for such a project. However, there haven’t really been any indications related to Urban’s pleas that a sequel could be in the works.
But should it be? There’s no denying that DREDD performed poorly at the box office, but it’s a little bit difficult to call the film a flop in general. It actually earned fairly strong reviews among critics and fans alike.
And it definitely has a kind of “cult following” among fans of the character and background comics. Furthermore, the brutal and gritty style of the movie—as well as its delicate balance of dark humour and over-the-top violence—would all seem to be more appropriate now than when the film was released four years ago.
That’s not to say it was out of place in 2012, but we’re beginning to see superhero movies take darker turns these days. DREDD seems a better companion to the gloominess of Marvel’s DAREDEVIL series or even the atmosphere in the upcoming BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE than the bright, comic moods prevalent in the likes of THOR or THE AVENGERS.
Culture fit aside, we’ve also seen the Judge Dredd character lingering in entertainment despite the poor performance of DREDD in 2012. Mostly, this has been evident in the fact that there are multiple gaming adaptations of the film, or at least its core subject matter, that fans can still easily access and enjoy.
Perhaps most prevalent of them is a Judge Dredd slot machine game. It is described as one in which Dredd’s “entire arsenal is dedicated to helping players win big” The concept of a superhero who exists to ensure justice is served has proven to be an amusingly fitting theme for a slot arcade known for its particularly generous returns.
And for those who would prefer other styles of Dredd-related gaming, there have also been a couple of apps released in recent years, such as Judge Dredd Vs. Zombies and Judge Dredd: Countdown Sec 106. The former is an action-packed third-person adventure game, and the latter an interactive comic that plays like an RPG. Both have been popular with fans.
Considering all of this, the studios are in a little bit of a tricky position when talk of a DREDD sequel comes up. On the one hand, the box office numbers don’t lie and it’s difficult for Hollywood executives to ignore poor financial performance. However, there’s evidence in gaming, reviews, and general fan enthusiasm that the Judge Dredd character remains very popular.
It’s beginning to seem as if the likeliest outcome is another reboot, rather than a direct follow-up. Judge Dredd co-creator John Wagner has been suggesting as much, claiming that it’s a matter of when and not if we get another film about this particular hero.
It just might not be the same version brought to us by Karl Urban in 2012, but it’s better than nothing. ‘COURT’S ADJOURNED!’.
Colin Morris is a freelance writer and film fanatic. Though his writing covers many topics, he hopes to become a featured film critic at a major publication