The disheartening reality of a world in which financial metrics dictate the rules is that some movies deserve sequels, which they, unfortunately, never received. 2012’s Dredd, a modern adaptation of the AD2000 British comic book series, is an absolute masterpiece of action cinematography and one most certainly deserving of a sequel. However, the question remains whether or not that will happen.
Dredd, starring Karl Urban, is now streaming on Netflix.
Starring The Boys star Karl Urban, Dredd takes place in a post-apocalyptic city in the year 2080 and follows the story of a powerful and brutal law enforcement officer who gets to play the roles of judge, jury, and executioner. The judge is investigating a string of brutal murders when he stumbles into the center of a dangerous drug operation that threatens to pull his entire operation apart. To make things worse, he’s accompanied by a cadet judge, and some of his veteran colleagues end up turning against him.
As stated above, Dredd was a massively popular comic book during the ’70s, and the character has since appeared in a number of on-screen projects since its inception, with fans dreaming of an entire franchise forming. However, as was the case with most adaptations of the late 20th and early 21st century, the 1995 movie starring Sylvester Stallone was a massive flop—it’s often regarded as one of Stallone’s worst films—so any dreams of Judge Dredd becoming a franchise were executed much more efficiently than the filming of the movie was.
The original Judge Dredd adaptation was a flop both commercially and among the critics. Even the audience disliked the film. But, in 2012, Pete Travis and Alex Garland released Dredd, following six years of development.
The reboot fared much better among the critics and the audiences, with the consensus that the reboot version was superior to the original animation in every conceivable way. Unfortunately, it didn’t manage to earn enough to warrant a sequel; the movie was a commercial flop, as it managed to earn a mere $41 million on a $45 million budget.
…the massive popularity Dredd has gained in the decade since its release isn’t the only thing that makes the sequel viable.
With that said, 2012’s Dredd gained a massive cult following since its release, and the movie is growing in popularity as the years go by. And considering the sheer number of stories in AD2000 comic books that are related to Dredd, whose following continues to grow, the sequel to the Karl Urban movie is definitely a possibility, at least from the perspective of source material availability. Sure, more than a decade has passed, but it’s not unheard of Hollywood making sequels to box office flops; TRON: Legacy was a sequel to the 30-year-old TRON original, which was a massive flop.
…Karl Urban said that he would play Judge Dredd again, given the opportunity, and the opportunity might present itself in the form of a television series, Judge Dredd: Mega-City One…
But the massive popularity Dredd has gained in the decade since its release isn’t the only thing that makes the sequel viable. The popularity of everyone involved with the film has grown immensely since its release. Karl Urban gained a massive following after his appearance in Thor: Ragnarok and The Boys, while Alex Garland gained even more recognition following the release of acclaimed sci-fi films Ex Machina and Annihilation.
The most interesting bit of information about the 2012 movie was the fact that it was supposed to start a Dredd trilogy. However, the reboot’s commercial success, or lack thereof, sealed the trilogy’s fate, and those particular plans never came to fruition. That didn’t stop Garland from teasing a possible future Dredd storyline that would’ve been featured in the sequels. According to Garland, the sequel would’ve been Dredd’s origin story, focusing on his beginnings and the beginnings of Mega-City One.
Even Karl Urban said that he would play Judge Dredd again, given the opportunity, and the opportunity might present itself in the form of a television series, Judge Dredd: Mega-City One, though he was the last to talk about the show. It wasn’t officially canceled, but the project has been shrouded in the cloud of silence ever since, prompting many to believe that it’s stuck in development hell.
Dredd really deserves a sequel, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to watch the movie, it’s currently streaming on Netflix. The idea of a television series isn’t so bad after all, as it would provide a format for storytellers to cover Dredd more extensively.