Dredd Star Karl Urban Says Seeing Judge Dredd's Face Makes Him Sick
09.06.11 by BJSprecher
When a movie studio announces that it intends to produce a live-action feature starring a classic superhero, the news is met with great excitement in the comic book movie fan community...unless that superhero has already been maligned by Hollywood in the minds of the fans. Such was the case when Reliance announced its plans to bring the classic 2000 A.D. character Judge Dredd back to the big screen in a movie titled simply Dredd. Instead of unrestrained enthusiasm, the news was met with skepticism and trepidation by the fans who felt that the 1995 movie starring Sylvester Stallone did a major disservice to the character.
Besides the original movie's ridiculous plot and infantile dialogue, one of the things that fans were highly critical of was the fact that you could see Stallone's face throughout nearly the entire movie. In fact, so much of the early online chatter about the movie centered around the fact that Stallone barely wore Dredd's iconic helmet that the title star of the new movie, Karl Urban, made a point of telling fans that Dredd will "keep [the] helmet on." However, even with that assurance, fans continue to discuss the topic and reporters continue to ask Urban about the helmet. In a recent interview with Total Film magazine (via CBM), Urban offered an explanation of the importance of the helmet that transcends costume asthetics and pretty much declared that Stallone's Dredd makes him sick.
If anyone is familiar with Dredd, over the years there are many times [in the comics] when he removes his helmet but you never fully see his face. This was a construct by the creators because he represents a faceless system of justice and law.
I say this hypothetically. If I went to a movie called Judge Dredd and the lead actor at one point took of his helmet so we could see his full face I would just puke in my popcorn because that's not Dredd. He is mysterious and enigmatic. We're doing it right, it's gonna be harder, grittier and above all faithful to the comic. It's gonna kick ass.
Dredd was produced by Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle's (Slumdog Millionaire) DNA Films and directed by Pete Travis (Vantage Point, Endgame). The movie takes place in a dark, futuristic world in which "Street Judges" enforce the law, sentence offenders and execute them on the spot, when necessary. The plot is stil a mystery, but Judge Dredd creator John Wagner has raved about the script by Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine), calling it a "fan pleaser" and a "high-octane slay ride through the dark underbelly of the vast future city" he created, Mega City One. Olivia Thirlby (Solitary Man) and Lena Heady (300) also star.