Our love of Dredd here at GFR damn near knows no bounds, but the larger movie-going public didn’t seem to agree when the Karl Urban sci-fi/actioner opened on September 21, 2012. Up against End of Watch and the Jennifer Lawrence thriller House at the End of the Street, Dredd hit the box office with a deafening thud, landing in sixth place with a paltry $6.3 million domestic weekend total. Thankfully positive word of mouth made Dredd a hit on home video, and a cult classic that still has fans — ourselves included — clamoring for a sequel. That may be a longshot, but Dredd producer Adi Shankar recently posted a candid video where he thanks fans for rescuing the film from obscurity and changing his life in the process.
Shankar says Dredd had been a passion project of his since he was seven. Just what sparked his interest at such a young age might surprise many devoted Dredd fans, seeing as how it’s something many of those same fans have spent years deriding. We’re talking about that other Judge Dredd movie, the one with Sylvester Stallone constantly taking his helmet off and noted vaccine skeptic Rob Schneider serving as the comic relief sidekick.
Yeah, that movie, the one that was held up as a singular example of how not to make a Judge Dredd movie, the one that Shankar’s Dredd improved upon in pretty much every way possible. “It didn’t like offend me in the way it offended every other Dredd fan,” says Shankar in the video. “But I did acknowledge that there was a darker version of it that could have been done with similar production design.” And with 100% less Rob Schneider.
Shankar cites Dredd’s dreadful performance at the box office as “probably one of the most devastating things I could have experienced at that point in my life.” It was all the more impactful, then, when Dredd found its audience on home video. Dredd became the bestselling DVD and Blu-ray in its first week of release, moving some 650,000 units. As of September 2013, the one-year anniversary of its theatrical release, Dredd had earned approximately $10 million in North American home video sales.
Star Karl Urban has recently been spreading rumors that we might get a Dredd prequel rather than a sequel, but even if it fails to spawn a franchise, the fact that we’re still talking about it two years later can be attributed to just how passionate the fan reaction has been. As Shankar puts it:
You guys took something that society deemed a failure, that society marginalized, that society said shouldn’t be important, that didn’t deserve the time of day, and you turned it into a success. This movie resonates with you guys, and that is so fucking cool.
You can watch Shankar’s full thank-you vid below.