The 2012 film adaptation of Dredd was a long awaited tribute to a much loved indie comic. Standing head and shoulders above Sylvester Stallone’s 1995 Judge Dredd, the movie seemed to just get everything right. Alex Garland‘s revival of the 2000AD series made for a great retelling of the story for seasoned readers as well as a captivating introduction to it for new viewers. It was the dark, gritty comic book adaptation that a lot of comic book fans had been craving for years, dealing with crime and drugs and death on an almost unique level. Karl Urban, playing the eponymous Judge Dredd, has been roundly appluaded for his ability to portray a character so well with only half his face on show.But the movie very nearly could’ve been a very different beast.
In an interview with ScreenGeek, co-creator John Wagner revealed that the original script saw Judge Death as Dredd’s primary antagonist rather than drug lord Ma-Ma, who took the villainous centre stage in the final piece. At the time, the team were in discussion with Fox to create the movie and the production company turned it down. According to Wagner, “they wanted more nuts and bolts”.
Instead, the movie we finally saw offered a little more time focussing on Dredd’s universe and character development, rather than leaping right into the more metaphysical aspects of the comic. And no one can say that Dredd wasn’t a huge success.
But Garland has not lost sight of his original vision.
In the same interview with ScreenGeek, Wagner hinted that some of that original plot may well make it into a sequel at some point in the future.
“Well, there will be a sequel, I just don’t know when or who’ll do it but it’ll happen…. It would work very well as a television show – it just depends on how it’s done. It could work very as a film. I mean – everyone wants to see Judge Death, don’t they?”
And he’s got a point. After the roaring success of the sequel, bringing Death to life promises to be a really wild ride.