When Judge Joe's new movie Dredd finally comes along in September, we'll be looking for it to wipe the bad taste of Danny Cannon out of our mouths. Chief among its weapons will be Karl Urban, in the title role, and Lena Headey as the film's antagonist, Madeline "Ma Ma" Madrigal.
Described in the script as an obese septuagenarian with heavy scarring, you can guess which two thirds of that went out the window when they cast Lena Headey in the role.
Here's our first look, I believe, at how Ma Ma will appear on screen.
Headey has described the part, as she sees it, to Hero Complex:
She's a prostitute who then kills her pimp and takes over his drug-running business. And Ma-Ma is a bit of a man-hater. I think of her like an old great white shark who is just waiting for someone bigger and stronger to show up and kill her. She's ready for it. In fact, she can't wait for it to happen. And yet no one can get the job done. She's an addict, so she's dead in that way, but that last knock just hasn't come. This big, fat, scarred shark moving through the sea and everyone flees and she's like, 'Will someone just have the balls to do it? Please?'
Some of that action – the killing of the pimp and taking over of the drug-running business – has happened by the time this movie starts. In fact, it's probably worth reminding you that Dredd, in the script and from all of the set reports we've been privy to, is a very compressed film, taking place over a short period of time, more or less entirely in a single City Block. The approach is massively different to that of the last movie.
And that, I think, is what has a lot of people feeling hopeful.