Karl Urban On ‘Dredd’ Sequel: ‘It’s Up To The Fans’
2012′s Dredd was an attempt to reboot the cult-favorite character who originated in the British science fiction anthology 2000 A.D. In 1995, Sylvester Stallone starred as the helmeted dispenser of justice in a dystopian, seemingly post-apocalyptic future, who acted as judge, jury and executioner on the spot. While that movie remains a camp-tastic guilty pleasure, the Karl Urban-starring remake adopted the far darker, hyper-violent tone of the comics.
The film failed to catch on with the general movie-going public despite proving to be quite an excellent comic-book action flick. It’s total worldwide box office gross was about $32 million, on a $50 million budget. It’s surprising success on DVD and Blu-Ray (selling up to 650,000 copies, “making it the best-selling new release title of the year,” according to a press release at the time), seemed to reignite new hope for a sequel.
Dredd was released on home video over six months ago, but no official word on a sequel has been heard despite its post-theatrical release success. Star Karl Urban hasn’t given up hope, however. While at Comic-Con 2013 to help promote his upcoming Fox series Almost Human, Urban voiced his belief that it’ll only happen if the fans want it badly enough, saying:
Karl Urban: The more people that campaign for it, the more people that email, Twitter, write-in to Lionsgate saying ‘we want to see more of this,’ then the more likelihood we will get to see it; we’re certainly doing everything we can to make sure it happens.
Judge Dredd Breaching Room Karl Urban On Dredd Sequel: Its Up To The Fans
On paper, Dredd seemed to be a safe bet: Urban stole his scenes as Dr. McCoy in the rebooted Star Trek, this project promised the prospect of the always-popular gritty reboot, and it even featured Game of Thrones star Lena Headey as the main villain, a twisted, drug-dealing matriarch. Also, the film would keep to the core of the source material, in which Judge Dredd never once removes his helmet.
It’s interesting to note that star Urban and writer Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later) were actively discussing their sequel ideas up until the film’s release – everyone behind Dredd really seemed to think they had a big hit on their hands. Garland talked about a potential trilogy, which could include pivotal comic-book villains like the Dark Judges (undead former Judges so extreme in their world-view that all of humanity needs to be eradicated due to living humans’ potential to commit crimes) and the murderous tyrannosaurus rex Satanus.
Judge Dredd 2000 AD Karl Urban On Dredd Sequel: Its Up To The Fans
So how likely is this? Searching Twitter for #dredd, #dreddsequel and #dredd2 does yield a good number of hits, especially during the past few days, there is a Facebook page clambering for a second entry, and some reports from last month have the Dredd DVD spiking in Amazon sales when the sequel rumors started flying. Judging (ahem) by Urban’s plea to fans, no one has given him a contract to sign yet, though.
Still, such strong home video sales point toward the steady building of a cult audience – and it’s a world which deserves some expansion, especially considering Urban’s interest in seeing Dredd take to exile in response to his character’s disillusionment in the “big lie,” namely that the Judges are doing what’s best for humanity.