It looks like Karl Urban has been sentenced to play the grim lawman himself, and by Grud I think he's got what it takes. Here are some choice words from the man who will don the red, blue and gold helmet of Mega-City One's top cop:
"If I was to go see a movie called 'Judge Dredd,' and the actor who played Judge Dredd was to take his helmet off and full-on reveal his face and identity, I would puke in my popcorn."
Okay, Karl, wise words. But maybe you're just playing a PR game. Just the slightest bit of research would tell you that the fans were disappointed in the regrettable first film, and that the main gripe was that Dredd removed his helmet. So, what does Dredd mean to you?
"Dredd is enigmatic, the faceless representative of justice. His prevailing attitudes, his strength of moral character, and the strength of his actions are what speak volumes for that character. If you think about westerns...it's akin to getting to the end of 'The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly' and realizing, 'Wait a minute. I didn’t even know the Eastwood character's name!' It’s cool."
"I’ve been reading Dredd for over 25 years. When I was 15 years old working in the pizza parlor, the manager I worked for was heavily into it, and he switched me on to it. It was interesting for me that at a time when I was a teenager rebelling against all the things a teenager rebels against and doing all the things that one does, one of my heroes was this authoritarian, staunch, hardass representative of the law. "
Drokk. He gets it! Okay, so we've got a pretty big name star in the lead role who understands the character. Who is writing the script for this thing? I mean, the Post-Apocalyptic world of Judge Dredd is pretty specific. It's not Blade Runner, It's not Mad-Max...well, I guess it could be the illegitimate son of Blade Runner and Mad-Max if they had an orgy with Looney Tunes and an Editorial Cartoon.
It's a parody of America, and American life. Overconsumption, needless paranoia and worry, the desire for safety over personal freedoms, the desire to be told what to do, scripted quite humorously through the lens of the amazing (and British) John Wagner. So who is writing this thing, and what does Wagner have to say? Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle is producing the film, and Alex Garland (28 Days Later) is writing it. 28 Days Later was a pretty interesting bit of film; more about what humans will become in order to survive than the tired 'surviving-the-zombpocolypse' drivel. And as per John Wagner, who has read the script?
"While I can't go into detail about the content I can say that it's high-octane, edge of the seat stuff, and gives a far truer representation of Dredd than the first movie. I hated that plot. It was Dredd pressed through the Hollywood cliché mill, a dynastic power struggle that had little connection with the character we know from the comic."
Heartening words from the Dredd master himself. It's still early yet, and if Hollywood has proved one thing it's that they're infinitely capable of turning something simple, something that works, into illegible crap (I'm looking at you Jonah Hex). So, while we mull over all of this info, let's take a look at some of the design work done for the film. Design work which was done by the incredible hand of 2000AD vet Jock: