Dredd 3D was one of the biggest bummers of 2012. Not because it was bad — on the contrary, it did damn near everything right. No, the depressing element is that it succeeded so well creatively, while tanking hard at the box office. With a reported budget of $50 million, it’s only taken in around $36.5 million worldwide. Needless to say, that’s not the sort of business that would have Hollywood greenlighting a sequel. But even if we don’t return to Mega-City One on the big screen anytime soon, we may still get more Dredd, just in a different form.
During an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit last week, Dredd 3D producer Adi Shankar had good news and bad news for fans of Judge Dredd’s latest big-screen incarnation. Citing the disappointing box office, Shankar said we probably wouldn’t see a sequel since the film “totally bombed.” As he pointed out, it’s hard enough to get an R-rated movie greenlit in the first place, so that’s only magnified when the movie in question is a multi-million-dollar sequel to a box office dud. But Shankar did reveal that he’s working on a new Judge Dredd short film.
A short film spin-off wouldn’t be unexplored territory for Shankar. He was also a producer on the Punisher: Dirty Laundry short starring Thomas Jane and Ron Perlman. (Jane was the best part of the disappointing 2004 Punisher movie, so it was good to see him back in Frank Castle’s skull shirt.) The Dredd short would serve as a sequel to last year’s Dredd 3D, but there’s no word whether Karl Urban would reprise his role as the titular character. Given how limited the budget is likely to be, I’m guessing Urban would have to pitch in out of love for the character rather than a paycheck. Shankar also expressed interest in possibly turning to Kickstarter to help fund the short.
I think it’s great that we’re going to see more of the universe Dredd 3D served up, but it still doesn’t totally soothe the wound of not getting to see the other two installments in screenwriter Alex Garland’s proposed Dredd trilogy. At least we’ve got the movie to revisit.
In the meantime, you can check out Punisher: Dirty Laundry below.