I loved director Pete Travis’ awesome, and very violent adaptation of Dredd, and oh yes it wiped the floor with the piss poor Stallone starring crap from 1995.
Sadly though, the film did not light up the cinema, and a sequel was all of a sudden in serious trouble after Dredd failed to find a big enough audience, and that upset me greatly. Here was a film basking in the glory of being ultra violent, and ultra cool, with Karl Urban giving an exceptional performance as the moody law enforcer. The film did find an audience on DVD & Blu-ray, but sadly it was too late.
Writer Alex Garland was speaking with IGN this week about his new sci-fi Ex Machina, and he spoke about the misfortunes of Dredd and its proposed sequel:
“As far as I’m concerned? Yeah it is [dead]. My hope is, and I actually think this will happen – somebody else will do it. Not to be all coy and silly about it, but I think our film was better than the first one, right? Just to be blunt. And the job of the next people is to make their film better than ours. And then if they do that, then finally, maybe this character will break out in the way that it deserves to. But we’ll see.”
A massive petition was set up for a Dredd sequel, and fans voted and voted, but the petition has fallen on deaf ears, and would appear to have been a big waste of time. Fans were even encouraged to buy the film on DVD & Blu-ray, and they did, pushing the film to the top of the sales charts, but even that wasn’t enough.
Garland states that these petitions never really work, and that fans should have gone to the cinema to see it in the first place, and this would have made making a sequel much easier:
“It makes me feel sad really. I feel grateful to the people who’ve attempted to get a sequel off the ground. And sorry that actually what happened was we let them down. Because the reality is that a film needs to acquit itself. It shouldn’t need a petition. And the truth is if it gets to the point where it needs a petition, it’s in big trouble anyway. That’s the cold hard reality of it. I feel a sense of residual guilt. It’s quite strong actually; it’s not that residual. Dredd was a very, very hard movie to work on, for all sorts of different reasons, and the reward would have been at the end of it that it all worked out. But it didn’t all work out. That’s the reality.”
He does have a point, but with that he did hint at what may have happened in Dredd 2:
“The first film we made it for about $35m, although quite a lot of that was to do with shooting it in 3D. Or a chunk of it. And we managed to make that film for that budget by locking it in a building essentially, sort of Die Hard-style. In the second film it was going to go out into the desert, which would be The Cursed Earth – people who know the comic book would know immediately what that means. And maybe throw some money at some key sequences. That’s how you do it I guess. I think we could have made it for another $30m, $35m type thing. We could have made it for $30m if we shot it in 2D. $35m maybe 3D I guess. Of that order. But the third one that would have been more expensive, because it would have been going back to the city and maybe bringing in some Dark Judges or something like that.”