Dredd Screenwriter Discusses Possible Sequels
07.09.12 by Ryan
The first trailer for the upcoming comic book adaptation of Dredd arrived online, and, as far we were concerned, exceeded expectations. Perhaps that's because the British comic book character created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra is most often associated with the unfortunate 1995 adaptation starring Sylvester Stallone, unlike in the U.K., where the character has more reverence. So far, it looks like director Pete Travis (Vantage Point, Endgame) plans to be more faithful to the comic book version of the character with title star Karl Urban already admitting that Dredd will "keep [the] helmet on." That had to please many a Judge Dredd fan, but for many moviegoers in the U.S. ignorant of the significance of that remark, more will have to be done to sell audiences on the movie to engender curiosity after the bad taste collectively left over from Stallone's version. To that end, Dredd screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine) revealed at the London Film and Comic-Con that the movie will have to do significant business at the U.S. box office for Dredd to get a sequel.
"We’ll see a sequel if the gross is above $50 million in the US," said Garland during a panel over the weekend attended by Bleeding Cool. "It’s a simple financial equation. We’re an independent movie."
As for what Garland has in mind for future installments, fans of Judge Dredd can expect Dredd to go up against the Dark Judges.
In terms of Dark Judges, I wrote Death into this script, but it didn’t feel right for the first film. I thought it felt right but after about 16 drafts it really didn’t work out. I needed to have set up the city and Dredd first before taking on what is essentially a riff on the Judges. You need to know what the Judges are before you can subvert them.
I wrote a second script which was about Dredd going out to the Cursed Earth. That was rejected for similar reasons. If they want to make sequels, I’ve got a story that goes from this one into the origins of Dredd and the city. Then the third one has would have a strange, existential attack from the Dark Judges.
For those unfamiliar with Judge Dredd, Judge Death and the other Dark Judges — Judge Fear, Judge Fire and Judge Mortis — are supernatural ghouls from an alternate dimension called Deadworld and believe that all crime is committed by the living, so all life must be destroyed. Judge Death also needs no weapons as he can reach into someone's chest and squeeze their heart. Yay for sequels!
There's still plenty of things to do before Garland can introduce Judge Death in a third installment, the first of which is selling the public on the first Dredd. Much less complicated than supernatural beings from another dimension, Dredd follows Judge Dredd (Urban) and his rookie partner, the telepathic Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) as they try to bring down the drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), who is holed up in a 200-story slum. The adaptation was produced by DNA Films, the production company of Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire).