It’s no secret that Dredd didn’t do well at the box office. Domestically it tanked with only the International box office and eventual strong DVD sales recapturing the movie’s production costs. The results certainly didn’t help hopes for a sequel. Any other franchise fans would have given up at this point, but Dredd fans hung in there, starting petitions, websites, and a yearly “Put Dredd at the top of the Sales Chart” event in hopes of creating enough interest from Hollywood to get a sequel into production.
Everyone involved with Dredd wants a sequel, Karl Urban has been keeping the pot simmering with comments and video statements to fans, but even this hasn’t been enough to get anyone in Hollywood to back the project with real money. Dredd screen writer Alex Garland was recently asked about Dredd 2 and had some heart-felt, yet disappointing words.
IGN in London recently sat down with Garland and asked:
Is Dredd 2 was dead in the water?
Garland responded saying:
As far as I’m concerned? Yeah it is. My hope is, and I actually think this will happen – somebody else will do it. Not to be all coy and silly about it, but I think our film was better than the first one, right? Just to be blunt. And the job of the next people is to make their film better than ours. And then if they do that, then finally, maybe this character will break out in the way that it deserves to. But we’ll see.
It makes me feel sad really. I feel grateful to the people who’ve attempted to get a sequel off the ground. And sorry that actually what happened was we let them down.
Because the reality is that a film needs to acquit itself. It shouldn’t need a petition. And the truth is if it gets to the point where it needs a petition, it’s in big trouble anyway. That’s the cold hard reality of it. I feel a sense of residual guilt. It’s quite strong actually; it’s not that residual.
Dredd was a very, very hard movie to work on, for all sorts of different reasons, and the reward would have been at the end of it that it all worked out. But it didn’t all work out. That’s the reality.
Garland lays it all out and he’s right. A successful film wouldn’t need a petition to get a sequel. As much as I would like that not to be the case, it all boils down to risk and reward. If the risk is too high and the reward uncertain, no one is going to put their money at risk.
This is going to be a hard pill for Dredd fans to swallow.
When asked about how Dredd 2 might have looked on the big screen Garland said:
The first film we made it for about $35m, although quite a lot of that was to do with shooting it in 3D. Or a chunk of it. And we managed to make that film for that budget by locking it in a building essentially, sort of Die Hard-style.
In the second film it was going to go out into the desert, which would be The Cursed Earth – people who know the comic book would know immediately what that means. And maybe throw some money at some key sequences. That’s how you do it I guess.
I think we could have made it for another $30m, $35m type thing. We could have made it for $30m if we shot it in 2D. $35m maybe 3D I guess. Of that order. But the third one that would have been more expensive, because it would have been going back to the city and maybe bringing in some Dark Judges or something like that.
That sounds great to any Dredd fan. Use the Scorched Earth as a back drop in the second film as well as introducing the Dark Judges that would then be the focus of Dredd 3. Damn, now I am lamenting that we might never see the Scorched Earth on the big screen unless we sit through Stallone’s tongue in check version.
Perhaps a fan based Kickstarter is the only way to make this happen. Stranger things have happened in Hollywood.