You know what movie kicks ass? Dredd. No, not that Stallone film from the ‘90s (although it might be worth watching after a few beers), I’m talking about the Karl Urban version from 2012. Everything about it just worked. The action, visual style and simple plot. Even the trailer’s a real banger. And now that I remember, the 3D was really cool as well, particularly during the slo-mo scenes.
It became sort of an instant cult classic, too. Despite a modest $50 million budget though, Dredd earned just $41 million worldwide. Fans demanded a sequel, but it wasn’t financially viable and while nothing has come to fruition yet, that hasn’t stopped folks from continuing to campaign for a follow up.
Urban made an appearance at this past weekend’s C2E2 and was asked about the beloved character. Not only did he express love for the role, but said he’d be happy if anyone made another Dredd, even without him, and believes it’s just a matter of time before it happens.
“Listen, I would love to make it, I’m on the record saying that a bunch of times. I don’t know if that’s gonna happen,” Urban responded to a fan when asked about the sequel. “I think that the guys that own the rights to Dredd, Rebellion, I think they’re developing something called ‘Mega-City One’ and it would just be great to see more Dredd, whether it’s with me or not, it doesn’t matter. I’m a fan of Dredd and there’s so many great stories there. I’d love to see them. And I have no doubt that, someday, someone will make it. It’s just a matter of time.”
In addition to its poor box office performance, the movie was riddled with production issues. Alex Garland wrote the film, but according to Urban, he also acted as the director, despite Pete Travis being credited.
“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,” star Karl Urban revealed to JoBlo. “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.”
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And this doesn’t sit well with Garland, either. As Urban mentioned, he went on to helm two outstanding sci-fi films in Ex Machina and Annihilation, but it appears he has no desire to return to Dredd.
When asked by ScreenGeek about whether or not he would ever return to the franchise, Garland confirmed, “No. It was a pretty crude experience, for a bunch of reasons. At the end of it, I didn’t want to go back. I love Dredd, by which I mean I love the character, but I’m not in any hurry to do that again.”
Honestly, I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t get a sequel on Netflix. They just gave Martin Scorsese roughly $150 million to make The Irishman. Why can’t they drop another $50 million on a known franchise like Dredd? The fans demand it and it’d no doubt find an audience. But until such a day comes, we’ll just have to settle for watching the 2012 film on repeat.