Don’t give up, Dreddheads! Though 2012’s Dredd didn’t exactly take off at the box office (grossing only around $13 million in the U.S. and $36 million worldwide), the film was a massive hit with fans of the iconic comic-book antihero, and those same fans are still loudly clamoring for a sequel, organizing campaigns to boost sales of the home release and even pulling together a graphic novel sequel.
Now, Karl Urban, who starred as the titular Judge, is pitching in with a video aimed directly at that devoted fanbase. Though the video is brief, Urban reveals that “we’re working very very hard to bring you Dredd 2,” most certainly referring to writer Alex Garland and director Pete Travis, in addition to himself and others involved with Dredd. Check it out below:
Though the film’s box office numbers probably should have killed sequel talk immediately, the impressive praise that the Dredd has garnered from critics, in addition to the persistence of fans, could help a follow-up get off the ground. It’s a slim chance, to be sure, but stranger things have happened in Hollywood, and Lionsgate has to know by now that any sequel would have a definite audience.
In fact, given how well Dredd has sold on home media and its revered status among fans, it’s reasonable to suspect that Dredd 2 would perform much better theatrically than its predecessor. Many blame Lionsgate’s botched marketing campaign for the film’s poor performance, but now that Dredd has the respect of comic-book aficionados everywhere (the film even claimed the #14 spot on We Got This Covered’s list of the Top 50 Comic Book/Superhero Movies), explanatory marketing shouldn’t be nearly as critical.
If the efforts of fans, Urban, Garland and Travis are able to convince Lionsgate to green-light a sequel, plans are already in place for a trilogy of Dredd films. Back in 2012, Garland said:
If I was involved in a second movie, it would be about origins and subversion, and Chopper would feature. In fact, I think Chopper would start and end the story. Apart from him, my rough plan involves Fargo, Giant, Angel Gang, and a version of Satanus. For a trilogy, add Cal and the Dark Judges. And Anderson would be in all three. But… just to be clear, this is hugely speculative and also unlikely, for any number of reasons… There are some variables which would rule me out [of any sequel] immediately.
I think I’d try to make [the Dark Judges] really scary. Not play them for laughs. Just make them totally malevolent and lethal. And use practical effects where possible, except for Fire, which would be an on-set nightmare.
The existential side to the Dark Judges is that they don’t see a point to life. If my film-trilogy daydream was to play out, I would completely rewrite my original script for the Dark Judges – because it was junk – and start again.
If there is a sequel, I’m imagining spending about half the movie in the Cursed Earth, and I would try to come up with some new faces as well as some old ones… I quite like the idea of Satanus. But much more mutated.
But by the way, just so it has been said, I actually think that maybe the best way forward for Dredd is television. American TV has completely rewritten the rule book where filmed drama is concerned. Game Of Thrones/The Wire/Breaking Bad… An equivalent version of Dredd would be fu**ing great. Imagine the epics…
Dredd 2 may be a dream for now, but Urban and others are clearly invested in it, and the fans are certainly passionate about revisiting the Dreddverse. Whether a Kickstarter fund is required or Lionsgate decides to foot the bill, I do hope that such a terrific movie warrants a follow-up, especially in a world where horror-shows like Think Like A Man and A Haunted House have already scored sequels. But whoever said there was justice in Hollywood?