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Dredd Will Return…But Not In The Way We Expected

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DarkJudgesWe just celebrated the so-called “Day of Dredd 2014” last week, part of the ongoing efforts by fans to convince Hollywood that we need a sequel to the badass but underwatched 2012 Dredd flick. I rewatched the movie to mark the occasion and it’s still an absolute blast, pretty much everything you could ask from a Dredd movie working with a limited budget. But here we are, two years later, and a Dredd sequel is still just the stuff of rumors and fervent hopes. But now one of the film’s producers has revealed some unexpected good news: there’s more Dredd coming, and sooner than anybody expected.

Producer Adi Shankar has been involved with movies such as the Liam Neeson vs. wolves thriller The Grey and the aptly titled Lone Survivor, but Dredd was very much a passion project for him. He’s been one of the key players in trying to make a Dredd sequel happen ever since the original film underperformed at the box office. But it turns out he hasn’t been content to let the Hollywood machine keep him out of a sand box he enjoys playing in. Shankar has revealed to The Wrap that he’s spent the past two years working on a top-secret Dredd miniseries that’s due to premiere online beginning next month.

The seven-part Dark Judges miniseries is intended as a thank-you to fans who supported Dredd, but it remains to be seen how many direct ties the “unofficial” project will have to that film. Will Karl Urban slip the helmet back on as the taciturn Judge, or possibly Olivia Thirlby as the psychic Judge Anderson? We know Dredd screenwriter Alex Garland had big plans sketched out for the would-be franchise, so could he be involved as well? At the very least, we know Garland had specifically talked about wanting to bring the Dark Judges into the mix at some point as well.

So who exactly are the Dark Judges? If you’re not familiar with Dredd’s comic-book source material, they’re a bit weirder than anything we saw in the movie. The foursome consists of Judges Death, Fire, Fear, and Mortis — undead “law enforcers” from a parallel dimension who decide the best way to prevent crime is to remove the source of crime. Unfortunately, that means wiping out humanity, proving that the Dark Judges are fans of neither babies nor bathwater. That’s the sort of scheme that would make Judge Dredd frown even more than usual, so presumably he’ll be involved in the web series somehow…and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that he looks a lot like Karl Urban.

Shankar had actually hinted at the Dark Judges project during a Reddit AMA in March 2013, but at the time it was described as a single short film in the vein of Shankar’s Punisher: Dirty Laundry starring Thomas Jane and Ron Perlman. It’s great news to hear that it’s expanded into something more ambitious since then. At the very least, it gives Dredd fans something cool to look forward to. And who knows? Maybe it’ll help push an actual Dredd sequel that much closer to reality.

You can watch Shankar’s Punisher short below, followed by the “thank you” video he posted to the fans last week.

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