I cannot deny that I am very excited about DREDD 3D smashing into cinemas in 23 days on September 21. It has been and up and down journey for DREDD. Truth be told I thought the production design of the Sylvester Stallone 1995 version of Judge Dredd was pretty good there was much about the visuals I loved – case in point the look of Mean Machine and the Angel Gang was flawless and could have stepped out of an issue of 2000 AD.
But my blasphemy doesn’t end there - there is a possibility that Stallone could have actually been a good Judge Dredd - had they focussed on making a Judge Dredd film rather than a Sylvester Stallone film. But I can see how it could have played out in the executive’s decision making process and when it came to weighing the worldwide appeal of Judge Dredd against the worldwide appeal of Sylvester Stallone at his peak - I can see how we ended up with what we did - a good looking dog’s breakfast.
But then back in 2010 at Empire’s Movie - Con III - Day 1 Producers Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich confirmed that Karl Urban would be Judge Dredd (it had leaked a little earlier but this was official confirmation). Back in the day before Sylvester Stallone was attached to Judge Dredd the fans had their own ideas of who should be playing Judge Dredd on screen and high on that list was none other than the original bad ass cop make my day Clint Eastwood. Is it just me or does Karl Urban seem to be channeling Dirty Harry in all the bits we have seen so far?
Macdonald and Reich also gave us gave some updates that resonated with me:
“Dredd is a fantastic comic that they messed up 20 years ago. They built a huge city (set), inhabited it and tried to make the film for everyone, when it’s not for everyone. They cast a big star, paying a lot money so they thought let’s show his face. We are making ours for a similar price to D9.
Ours is an R-Rated gritty story of Dredd in a Mega City. The helmet is not coming off. He will hit people and people will hit him. The bike will feel real. There has been a change in guns. They weren't taking very seriously but - they now they are.”From the horses mouth it seemed that DREDD was heading in a direction that fans could appreciate. Over the months images of Mega City One vehicles and set images were leaked. They irked some that thought that was looking very low budget. I on the other hand thought they looked pretty good gritty and realistic as the producers had promised and I was getting very excited about the world of Mega City One that DREDD would inhabit.
Wagner later gave DREDD a glowing review after seeing a more fleshed out version of DREDD. This is what he said on his Facebook page:
“I went up to London yesterday to see the completed Dredd film. I’ve had reservations about certain aspects of it, and made them plain to the team at DNA. All but one of them—a little quibble at the beginning—have been addressed. And what a lot they’ve added. Music is on the button. SFX are excellent. Filming is impressive. I’ve not seen a modern 3-D movie before but I like it. I found myself reaching out trying to touch things that were dancing before my eyes. Karl is a great Dredd and Olivia gets Anderson completely. This is Dredd as it should be done-true to character, visceral, unrelentingly violent (but not off-puttingly so). It will open, I believe, sometime in September. No doubt you’ll let me know what you think when you’ve seen it, but this has my recommendation.Look I’m not going to lie to you if creator John Wagner someone whose comics I eagerly read for many years, says he is impressed that is good enough for me to get in the queue. Who am I kidding? I would have been in the line to see DREDD anyway!
Then we got a synopsis:
The future America is an irradiated wasteland. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One- a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge – a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of “Slo-Mo” experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed.
The Establishing Shot: DREDD TRAILER HD - 7 September 2012
During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture- a 200 story vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan’s inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound’s control center and wages a dirty, vicious war against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her empire. With the body count climbing and no way out, Dredd and Anderson must confront the odds and engage in the relentless battle for their survival.
The endlessly inventive mind of writer Alex Garland and director Pete Travis bring DREDD to life as a futuristic neo-noir action film. Filmed in 3D with stunning slow motion photography sequences, the film returns the celebrated character to the dark, visceral incarnation from John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s revered comic strip.
It would seem that the mind stretching and fantastical world that DREDD lives in would fit around a story that has distilled to its core blending those elements into a story focused on a particular set of events, certainly something that Director Pete Travis has mastered as we have seen with Vantage Point.
Then we got a look into the visual world of Mega City One and how it all comes together.
It appears that both the fantastical visual elements of Mega City One as well a a tight little story are in the bag. Audiences that have seen DREDD seem to be very positive about, what ever the outcome it it looks like we are definitely in for a ride when DREDD hits cinemas next month.
For the latest news on DREDD head over to its facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dreddthemovie
Director: Pete Travis
Writers: Carlos Ezquerra, Alex Garland, John Wagner
Stars: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey
The Establishing Shot: ON OUR RADAR - HOT LIST - DREDD 3D UPDATES SLO-MO FEATURETTE AND LOTS OF CLIPS AS JUDGEMENT ARRIVES ON SEPTEMBER 21