Every year on April 1st, the Internet becomes a minefield of April Fool’s Day posts and NerdBastards traditionally joins in with a post each year. For the last couple years of April Fool’s Day jokes we’ve tried to convince people that Iron Man’s latest armor for Avengers: Age of Ultron would have nipples, that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had bought the rights to Firefly for his wife, and last year’s about a new original Dredd mini-series on Netflix. We would have put that link in there too, but you’ll find out later in this post why we couldn’t. It all started out so simply…
There was this image (below) floating around the Internet and it made perfect sense to just run with it for April Fool’s Day: Dredd Set To Bring The Law To Netflix In 13 Episode Mini-Series Event.
It’s obviously poorly photo-shopped, not something a major player like Netflix would put out (First Clue aside from it actually being April First that day). The post then went on to quote a French Netflix Executive April Tromper, Tromper in French means…. you guessed it “Fool” (Second Clue). She stated that:
I knew the moment I walked into the conference room for the meeting and saw Karl Urban in full Dredd gear, we weren’t leaving that room alive without making some kind of deal. Dredd is full of wonderfully rich and vibrant characters, we can’t wait to see the franchise blossom at Netflix.
Now I don’t know about you, but Karl Urban in full Dredd costume for a meeting? (Really… you’ve gotta call that Clue number 3). Moving on there was another photo-shopped image, a tweet from Adi Shanker , which should have clued in those actually reading with a fourth questionable bit of information.
Next was the synopsis of the series:
The future United States is an irradiated wasteland known as the Cursed Earth. On the east coast lies Mega-City One, a violent metropolis with 800 million residents and 17,000 crimes reported daily. The only force for order are the Judges, who act as judge, jury and executioner. Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) and newly confirmed Judge Anderson (Olivia Thrilby) are tasked by the Chief Judge (Sylvester Stallone) with investigating corruption in the Judge Corps. Their investigation brings them to Judge Cal (Tom Hiddleston) and forces Cal to accelerate his plan to kill the Chief Judge and take over. Dredd and Anderson find themselves outside the law and fighting their fellow judges to bring order back to Mega City One.
OK, maybe this was a little too real sounding, or at least something that folks would want to see. Tom Hiddleston as Judge Cal would be incredibly funny. For those unfamiliar with Judge Cal he is a caricature of the Roman emperor Caligula. Yeah that crazy orgy guy.
So that was it basically. We posted it, we got the usual “You got me,” “Screw You Guys!” and other comments. A few days later we inserted, at the beginning of the post, in bold over sized type:
*Posted on April 1st, 2015 – It’s an April Fool’s Day Post.
That was so that anyone coming across it later would know right off the bat, “Hey, this isn’t real.” At least that’s what we hoped it would do. Everything was relatively quiet until last weekend. We’d get a comment or two every month after, but then BOOM. Suddenly last Friday, the post had new hits on it. To tell you the truth, it was Friday and we didn’t even notice, we were ready to start our weekend. Then Saturday rolls around and there’s another even bigger spick of new hits on the post. Since we usually have personal lives on the weekend and just repost popular posts from the week, it wasn’t until Sunday, and even more hits, that we really took notice of all the extra traffic.
We talked about it among ourselves, figured some Facebook or Reddit posting had kicked in and thought that was it. We had our up and down for an old April Fool’s Day Post, a nice little boost to traffic, everything should now goes back to normal.
Right before bedtime we see a well-known site, that we won’t name, has just posted about the new Dredd Netflix series and has somehow missed that it was a months old April Fool’s Day Joke Post. A quick message let them know the real facts, but it seemed that the post hype was floating around so much that weekend that other sites were starting to pick it up and run with it.
Then we get this email this morning:
I handle the publicity for 2000 AD and Judge Dredd, and am emailing about the Nerd Bastards article from April last year, “Dredd Set To Bring The Law To Netflix In 13 Episode Mini Series Event”: http://nerdbastards.com/2015/04/01/dredd-set-to-bring-the-law-to-netflix-in-13-episode-mini-series-event/
I would like to request that you take down the article from your site as it is continuing to cause confusion and producing negative feedback from our fans. We appreciate that you added a line stressing it is an April Fool’s joke, but at least one site has already linked to the article as a credible news source without repeating the cautionary line. It is approaching a year since it was originally published, we feel the joke has run its course and it is now causing nothing but anguish to genuine fans hoping for a sequel to DREDD.
I look forward to your reply.
Yep, that’s Mike Molcher, who’s in charge of 2000 A.D.’s marketing and publicity department. Seems that his and 2000 A.D.’s twitter have been blowing up over this and he’s actually been accused by some fans of:
Why would we ‘drum up interest’ for a Dredd series by spreading a rumour and then denying it? Who would put that in a marketing plan?!?!?
— molcher (@molcher) January 6, 2016
We love Dredd and 2000 A.D. and would never want to cause them any trouble deliberately, and while the post was garnering some nice additional traffic for the site on the short-term, after discussing we decided to take the post down. We didn’t want 2000 A.D. to have to deal with those people who only read the headline and get upset, we’d rather they work on new Dredd stuff for us to enjoy.
Seriously, the disclaimer was the first thing one would see when the link was you clicked, but that didn’t seem to stop the new complainers. You’d be surprised how many people write detailed comments about posts without ever reading past the headline. It’s frustrating when someone writes out some Facebook comment or tweet that is directly addressed in the post, but the person obviously hasn’t read the post to find that out.
Best we can figure, somehow, our April Fool’s Day Post got caught up one of the Dredd/Netflix petitions that have been making the Internet rounds, or some Reddit post picked up steam… who knows really, these things just blow up sometimes. In the back of our minds there was that small hope that someone who could actually make a Dredd/Netflix thing happen might stumble across that April Fool’s Day Post and worm that idea into their brain. Wouldn’t that be something?
Does this mean NerdBastards won’t have an April Fool’ Day Post this year? Hell No! If anything this has only sparked our interest to up our April Fool’s Day Game. What will we be doing for this year’s April Fool’s Day Post? Check back April 1st, 2016 to find out!