When you hear the term “Judge Dredd,” most of us of us think about the dark and yet laughable 1995 film starring Sylvester Stallone, Diane Lane and Rob Schneider. The public and critics alike agreed that film was just plain bad, even the star of the film Sylvester Stallone said in an interview years later, “I look back on Judge Dredd as a real missed opportunity, for me it was about wasting such great potential there … it didn’t live up to what it could have been.”
Now, fans of the character know that “Dredd” has been around in the U.K. comics as far back as 1977 and is one of the most popular characters and the longest-running series from comic group “2000 AD.” In an dystopian future, where the majority of the earth has been destroyed and most of the remaining people are out of work and therefore more prone to committing crimes to live, the police force is the judge, the absolute authority that acts as arresting officer, jailer, then sentencer and often executioner. The main focus of the comic is authoritarianism, police rule and the rule of law. Where the original movie went wrong, according to true fans, is by going against the very axiom of the Dredd universe (he never removes his helmet…ever, judges can’t have relationships, especially with other judges, etc.)
Needless to say, the forces behind the source material were not happy with the interpretation of the comics and have now announced that they are “re-imagining” the franchise, which is very popular nowadays in Hollywood. 2000 AD comics with Rebellion have teamed up with DNA studios (the company behind “Sunshine” and “28 Weeks Later”) to make a movie that will be faithful to the story and the look in the comics. This film is slated to start shooting towards the end of this year in Johannesburg, Africa, and will be released in 3D. They haven’t said much about the new film yet, or even if it will be shot in 3D or converted. In an official press release, the studio said, “The script is faithful to the original concept that made Judge Dredd a favorite bad-ass hero. It’s a high-octane slay ride through the dark underbelly of the vast future city. A real fan pleaser!”
The budget is $45 million, which seems kind of low to me for an action movie taking place in a future world they will have to build — but we shall have to wait and see. If they can manage to capture the essence of the characters and the world in which they live, it will definitely be a bigger success than its predecessor. The film has no official release date, but is slated for a 2012 release.
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