Dredd is a movie that came out just a bit too soon. The world wasn't really on board with R-rated comic book movies yet in 2012, and it was overshadowed by the other big releases. It didn't do well in theaters, but it has garnered a strong fanbase over the years and is one of the unsung classics of the genre. One of those people who has kept hope alive when it comes to a sequel is star Karl Urban. Almost six years later and people, including in this interview with JoBlo, are still asking when Urban will play Judge Dredd again.
Wow. That's a sweet compliment to get. In fact, there's so much interest in that particular character and I would dearly love to have the opportunity to get in there and play that again. There are so many wonderful stories in the 2000 A.D./Judge Dredd canon that we'd be remiss not to have the opportunity to tell them. If it were up to me personally we would have been making Dredd 2 two years ago. The rights holders [Producer Brian Jenkins and Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley ] are in their process of developing their show called Mega City One and we've had many discussions and the ball's in their court. Hopefully, they get it together and are able to deliver more of what the audience wants and it would certainly be a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of it.
Mega-City One is a television show that was announced last year and is currently in development. Urban has said he'd be willing to come back to the role in some capacity for the television show. We don't know much about the show yet, though. There is no announced network and the only thing we have to go on is some concept art.
When the interviewer said they couldn't see anyone but Urban playing the role now, he seemed to disagree and said the thing that made the first one great was writing and directing — which it turns out were done by the same person.
Well, I can. I mean, I could see other actors portraying him and one day that is an inevitability. I would love to have the opportunity to play DREDD again, but if it doesn't happen then I'm happy with the fact that we've made a film that has become a cult classic and that people have discovered over time. A huge part of the success of DREDD is in fact due to Alex Garland and what a lot of people don't realize is that Alex Garland actually directed that movie.
There were rumors that Garland was the one who directed the movie and not Pete Travis, like the IMDB lists. Three years later and Garland would become kind of wunderkind of the science fiction genre with Ex Machina, and while his follow-up Annihilation isn't doing well at the box office, it was critically well received. When it comes to someone who could infuse a Dredd sequel with some real depth and intelligence, like he did in the first one, it would be Garland — and Urban agrees.
Right? That would rock my world. I just hope when people think of Alex Garland's filmography that DREDD is the first film that he made before Ex Machina. You think about it in those terms; it goes DREDD, EX MACHINA, ANNIHILATION.
Urban's passion for Judge Dredd is a lot like Ryan Reynolds's passion for Deadpool, and we can hope it works out the same way. There is a market for R-rated comic book movies, and studios are beginning to see that. Maybe we'll see a proper Dredd sequel in our lifetime — or at least see Urban pick up the helmet for the television show.