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Far be it for me to begin a 2000 A.D.-related story crassly, but I thought the only time I’d hear the words “Dredd 2” and “hard” in a sentence would be in my fan fiction stories, which I only write while wearing a helmet. And yet here Karl Urban is, telling the world that people are working very, very hard to bring a Dredd sequel to fans. If anybody knows what happens to people who lie about such insanely important things, it should be a Judge, right?
Let’s all take a moment to reflect on how awesome it is that not only is Karl Urban giving Dredd fans a shout-out through 2000 A.D.‘s YouTube page, but he’s also telling people eyes-to-eyes that he, screenwriter Alex Garland (also of 28 Days Later fame), and DNA films are trying to get this film made. So no, he isn’t just telling a convention crowd that he’d love to see a sequel made, and he’s not just saying he hopes the fan support will be enough. He’s saying they’re working hard on it.
And though that may seem like small change to someone who doesn’t care if Dredd 2 happens — and to those people, we’re sorry for the lack of oxygen inside your brain’s hidey-hole — these kinds of stories are insanely important in this day and age, when social media has forced open the eyes and ears of studio executives who are usually more privy to thinking for themselves. This isn’t Ghostbusters 3, or even Jurassic World. Lionsgate isn’t chomping down on the idea of another Judge Dredd film, and it’s solely up to the fans to tell them that the first film has found an audience that it didn’t in theaters. It’s not like they marketed it; we were in the middle of 2012, for Pete Travis’ sakes! We had The Avengers!
And what’s a bigger sign of love than an Internet petition? A lot of things, because Internet petitions usually fizzle out immediately. So why did 100,000 Internet users want to see Dredd 2 so bad that they’ve kept this sucker going strong ever since it was created?
Because Hollywood is going to end up making a sequel to RoboCop that barely anyone asked for, and it’s probably going to be fine, because it will build upon what they set up in the first one. But the thing is, Dredd didn’t just set up a story for a single sequel to follow. It set up an entirely different kind of dystopia than we’ve ever seen before, a refreshing alternative to all those teen-driven “I’m the one who can save us!” storylines, which are usually less watchable than Sylvester Stallone’s Judge Dredd. (Which is surprisingly watchable as an adult.)
I already made my case that I want a Dredd sequel, but I want everyone else to make the case too. Tell Lionsgate to its face. Its lion face.