back to article Judge Dredd returns to the silver screen

Those of you still recovering from Sylvester Stallone's 1995 interpretation of Judge Dredd will have to wait until 2012 to see if Karl Urban can make a better hash of bringing the classic 2000 AD character to the silver screen. Shooting on IM Global's $45m Dredd is set to kick off in South Africa later this year, and the …


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  1. moylan

    what 1995 movie?

    what 1995 movie? i've never seen it. i never want to see it! once it was leaked that stallone would take off the helmet there was no reason to watch the movie as it wasn't true to the comic.

    fingers crossed this attempt will do well. would love to see a strontium dog movie. so many great characters and stories from 2000ad.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      But you've GOT to watch it!

      I mean, it even ends with Judge Dredd realising that one man can't be judge, jury and executioner. Sheer wonderful Hollywood feelgood.

    2. M Gale

      But he does take his helmet off in the comic.

      At least, in the comic adaptation of the film. Bit difficult to keep your uniform on when you've been dishonourably discharged and thrown in the clinker, eh?

      Also yes, lots of interesting characters from 2000AD that need films making of them, and don't forget Starlord!

      1. Hegghogg


        Starlord? Cool game, I thought. And very difficult to find these days, and even harder to run on a modern PC. But I always kind of liked it. Shame no-one remade it. That and Darklands in modern versions would be pretty awesome. And while we're at it, Covert Action, too.

        All Microprose, now I think about it. Damn, they knew how to produce decent games, not like the sorry efforts you get these days...

        No idea what Starlord was in 2000AD terms, mind. At first I thought you meant that weird alien guy with the skeletal face who went around doing... well, whatever it was he used to do, I can't really remember. But I think he was in Eagle anyway.

  2. Jon Double Nice

    IM Global teases:

    "I'tll be around three hours of CGI, pretty much all of it black, over 30,000 levels of black, with very little in the way of plot or acting. But you will be able to see lots of CGI cars flying about in the background"

    They should use all the rendering time to do DR and Quinch in 3D.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      and 3D

      You forgot to say that it will have over-emphasised 3D, with everything having 10x more depth than it really should, just to shove the 3D in your face...

    2. moylan

      dr and quinch?

      dr and quinch? wouldn't that be another hollywood butchering of alan moores characters? :-)

    3. Hegghogg

      Anderson? Finally...

      "I'tll be around three hours of CGI, pretty much all of it black"

      Apart from the bits that're orange and teal.

      Still, I maintain Karl Urban did a pretty impressive job as McCoy in Star Trek. Never heard of Olivia Thirlby, though. All I can say is, in the name of all my childhood years of fancying the shiny shoulder-furniture and big boots off Cassandra Anderson, I might tend towards the (pardon me) judgemental on that performance... Frankly I always thought Cass was the real star of those stories, anyway. Argh. Did I type that out loud?

      /runs for cover

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Grud on a greenie. Too much wrong in one sentence.

    "lone oasis of quasi-civilization on Cursed Earth"

    No it isn't, and no it's not. And they use the phrase 'Street Judge' too. Oh grief.

    It's not the only Mega-City, and the 'Cursed Earth' is the US wasteland, not the whole planet. Ballsed up from the first press release.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Bit hasty there mayhap?

      Don't forget the "Chief Judge" and the council, who are NOT on the "street", ergo the "normal" judges could be said to be "street judges".

      Also, "i" is next to "o", and it could be a mistype of "in cursed earth".

      Still, why not set one in Brit Cit? :)

      1. Hegghogg

        Street Judges

        "Don't forget the "Chief Judge" and the council, who are NOT on the "street", ergo the "normal" judges could be said to be "street judges"."

        Not to mention, as I recall, quite a few specialised departments. Wasn't there a unit of medically trained judges? I seem to recall Dredd being in hospital at one point and an alarm going off, and doctors and nurses all pulling out Lawgivers and running off to deal with it. I may be a given quantity of wrong.

  4. Yesnomaybe

    I know it's sad...

    ...but I actually quite LIKED the Judge Dredd movie. Thought it was OK, not brilliant, but a bit of fun.

    Stallone was no better or worse than he normally was, and as films go, could have been a lot worse. Love the automated food vending machine:" Eat recycled food; It's good for the environment, and it's OK for you!"

    1. il-monstro
      Thumb Up

      not so sad!

      I watched it again recently - first time since '95 - and... I thought it was pretty damn good! Angel Gang very well rendered, Max Von Sydow was great, ABC warrior in there somewhere. What's not to like? OK, Stallone takes the helmet off but that was always going to happen with a a big star.

      1. Svantevid


        To be fair, Max Von Sydow is always great. Even in "Judge Dredd". But...

        "What's not to like?"

        Sly Stallone's codpiece:

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        the ABC warrior was good

        Modern filmakers could learn a lot, at least they could see how much more realistic it is to actually build something, and put on the set, rather than just CGIing it in.

        1. Yesnomaybe
          Thumb Up

          ABC was good...

 was Mean Machine, in my humble opinion.

      3. sabroni Silver badge

        what's wrong with it is...'s not Dredd. Apart from taking off his helmet he also snogs Hershey! Dredd snogging someone?! No!

        It's not that bad a film (as moronic action films go) but it's nothing like Dredd. It sounds like the new film will be much closer to the real character. Here's hoping....

      4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        What's not to like?

        "I am the luhh!"

        1. Hegghogg

          "I Am The Law"

          Not great the first time he did it: standing in the street between two warring blocks and shouting "I Am The Law" as an opener. Moderately unconvincing.

          But the second time, in the tribunal:

          "I never broke the Law! I AM the Law!"

          Now THAT worked. Although it was about the only part of that scene that did.

    2. Dapprman

      It's a lot better than people think

      There was a fuss at first as they had tried to bring too many things in to the story, and there were changes to the setting, but as a whole the story did stick to the basic concepts and Stalone fitted the role quite well (with all those short extras around him to make him look taller).

      Those who knock the movie have either never seen it, or watched it when it very first came out and had all the negative hype.

  5. Smallbrainfield
    Thumb Up

    Could be quite good

    Karl Urban is a decent actor and he was great in Strar Trek. It depends which story they base it on, if it's the Dark Judges it could be a difficult one to sell to audiences. The inclusion of Anderson suggests it might be... Tentative thumbs up from me.

  6. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


    That is all.

  7. Code Monkey

    Good luck

    The last one would've been tolerable had Dredd had kept his helmet on. And had Dredd been played by anyone except Stallone (seriously: anyone - Pee Wee Herman, Thora Hird, even a trained seal would've delivered his lines better, anyone).

  8. Mike Hanna

    Oh no...

    "IM Global teases: "Dredd takes us to the wild streets of Mega City One, the lone oasis of quasi-civilization on Cursed Earth."

    Someone should point out that Mega City One is next to The Cursed Earth, and it's not 'a lone oasis'. I'm hoping that they get Ezquerra and some of the writers properly involved...

  9. Yorkshirepudding

    perfect leading man

    i think so carl urban is suitable gruff and he played mccoy superbly in star trek

  10. Alexander Hanff 1

    IM Global?

    When did IM Global buy the rights to Judge Dredd? Last I checked they were owned by Rebellion exclusively and a discussion I had with their CEO back in around 2001ish made it clear that they would not permit another "hollywood" Judge Dredd unless it was true to the comic.

    No news on Rebellion's web site about the movie either...

    Hmmm wonder if John Wagner or Alan Grant know anyting about this new movie...time to send a few emails I think.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Tharg's been going on about this...

      ..for about a year now, if not longer. What do you mean you stopped your subscription to 2000AD?!

      1. Alexander Hanff 1


        I haven't had a subscription since I was about 12 years old (a long time ago) but I did used to work in the industry and did some business with Rebellion back in the day as well as Alan Grant, John Wagner and Cam Kennedy to name a few.

        I really hope IM Global don't cock this up.

  11. Watashi

    28 Drokks Later

    Saw that the team behind 28 Days Later was doing this film a while ago, but couldn't think of who'd make a good Joe Dredd. My personal thought was for Idris Elba (Stringer in The Wire and Luther on the BBC). Anyway, Urban has a good jawline and plays intensity well, and those are the two main characteristics of Dredd.

    Shame Danny Boyle isn't directing, but he's probably too old to have been into 2000AD at its peak. Hopefully Pete Travis is a fan and as he's English he's probably gonna have a good feel for the Mega City atmosphere. The Dredd strip was written as an outsider's comment on the US (Wagner, the originator of the character, was born in the US but raised in Scotland) and contains more social commentary and black humour than mainstream Hollywood can deal with.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    bad casting already....

    WTF! they booked a brunnett to play Cassy ???????

    (who as all real 2000AD fanbois know is a tall - very busty Blonde)

    if Dredd is keeping his hat on this time then they must have an ex-TopGear lawyer do the contracts, or was Stallone having a ego trip when he insisted that he gets to take the helmet off.

    Dredd is known only from his chiseled stone jaw and low idiot perp tolerance.

    any reason why we haven't seen a 2000AD spin off game yet? they've had dozens of well received and written cartoons over the years that could easily be realised utilising Doom4 or later rendering engines.

    1. Smallbrainfield
      Thumb Up

      Rebellion did a Judge Dredd shooter which was okay

      And Rogue Trooper for PC and PS2. I have thatl; it's awesome and I still play it every now and then.

    2. Alex King

      Hair dye

      I think they might just be able to pull it off...

  13. EvilGav 1

    As long as they get . . .

    . . . the scale right, it might work.

    Stallone's effort, even with the budget, failed to get across the fact that a city block was more akin to an archology than a skyscraper.

    As has been posted above, the opening statement is wrong, since it is Mega City *ONE* and the Cursed Earth is the wasteland between Mega City One (East Coast) and Mega City Two (West Coast).

    Unless they do a good job of the scale, it's difficult to see how they will do much of a job of the rest. Suffice to say, those who grew up with Dredd are most likely to be disappointed, mostly because the character isn't one to empathise with on any level, he just is - something the studios really don't like doing.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Remind me ...

      Evil Gav 1 writes:

      "As has been posted above, the opening statement is wrong, since it is Mega City *ONE*

      and the Cursed Earth is the wasteland between Mega City One (East Coast) and Mega

      City Two (West Coast)."

      ... are we talking about future sci-fi here, or current day cultural reality?

      1. Smallbrainfield

        Mega City 2 got nuked

        during the Judgement Day event as it was full of zombies. There's Texas City and a few smaller cites left as well.

  14. Graham Bartlett

    I liked the Stallone one

    Except for the obvious problem that Sly Stallone and Armand Assante were supposed to be identical twins, I thought it worked great. I mean, look at Dredd. Single-minded musclebound killing machine. Stallone even comes with the curled lip built in. How much more perfect casting do you want?!

    Sure, if we were talking about a comic with a bit more depth like a lot of the Marvel stuff, then maybe the fact that it was a fairly mindless blowing-sh*t-up-fest would be an issue. But Dredd (and indeed most of the 2000AD stuff) was never really big on existential angst - if there's a problem then you kill it, and that's about as far as it goes. Perfect match for a dumb summer movie.

    1. Jolyon

      Mid-quality trolling

      You'll have to be subtler to get the 2000AD fans properly flaming.

    2. Smallbrainfield

      Give me big dumb guns

      over Marvel's stable of angst-wank like X-Men any day!

  15. Svantevid
    Thumb Down

    Oh Grud

    Not only they drokked up Judge Dredd in 1995, but now they're going to piss on Psi-Judge Anderson's character too?

    Gaze into the fist of Dredd!!!

  16. CADmonkey
    Thumb Up

    DR and Quinch

    Like, yeah.

    1. Snafu 2


      <pops beercan>

      1. CADmonkey

        <pops beercan>

        who the hell is this Dredd loser, like, anyway?

  17. Rogerborg

    There's already been a definite MegaCity movie

    And it was called The Fifth Element. Best Dredd film never made.

    1. John 62

      5th element

      was crap

      1. Marky W

        @John 62

        Begone, varlot. Twas a masterpiece.

      2. Steve Roper
        Thumb Up

        @ John 62

        I don't believe you got 8 downvotes for your opinion, must be moron day on El Reg. Don't worry mate, I absolutely agree with you. The 5th Element is a plotless, pointless montage of special effects mixed with Milla Jovovich's little white body, and as for the "5th Element" being "luuurrrve", well - says it all really. Anyone who thinks this movie was worth the time wasted watching it is a twit.

        Go on commentards, downvote me. Prove your idiocy!

  18. Jim jimminy jim jim jim jim
    Thumb Up

    I liked the 1995 version also

    I liked the lawmasters, loved the land rovers, thought the angel gang was well portrayed (with the exception of fink, needs more fink angel IMO) and loved the fact that of all the Judges uniforms, Dredd's was the only one that resembled the original comic (seriously, Joe Dredd's uniform was the only one to have the eagle as one of the pauldrons) as has been noted though one of the problems was stallone/assante as twins, the other was McGruder being slaughtered by rico before she was Chief Judge, but let's not let that get in the way of a good story :)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Judge Minty

    In the meantime, there's the awesome Judge Minty fan film...

  20. Spanners Silver badge

    Bring on Halo Jones!

    Maybe they can finish that story?

    1. Fogcat

      Never gonna happen

      Mr Moore is too far up his own arse these days to do something like Halo (which is just brilliant) and I'm kinda OK with it stopping where it did, she's still out there somewhere.

      1. Not That Andrew

        The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

        While I don't fully agree with your opinion of Alan Moore, he has said that he will never revisit Halo Jones and I hate to think what he would do if he did. I just wish he would allow Ian Gibson to complete the series, as he is willing and more than able to do so.

        On the subject of D.R. and Quinch, I am fully in favour of a movie. Maybe they could do "D.R. and Quinch Get Drafted" or "D.R. and Quinch Go To Hollywood"

  21. alun phillips

    Am I the Law

    Please, please whatever happens they must include I am the Law by Anthrax in there somewhere

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Or even better...

      "I fought the law (and the law won)" - The Clash

      Fuck it, put 'em both in.

  22. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    Stop calling him the ABC warrior, his name is HammerStein

    Joe Pineapples or Deadlock would've been better though. And btw, this is old news, anyway, I'm off to dirty the cludgey.

    1. playtime
      Thumb Down

      Insert hammer here

      @Lloyd - Hammerstein was just one model of ABC Warrior

    2. NumptyScrub

      HammerStein is ok for "an ABC Warrior"

      but I reckon RoJaws or Mek-Quake would have been a more comedy option :D

      "This a big job? Mek-Quake love big jobs!"

      1. Steve Ives

        We want to see Call-Me-Kenneth

        "Death to the fleshy ones!"

  23. John A Blackley

    Wot? No Stallone?

    Fresh from his runaway success in The Expendables - Sly actually managed two (count 'em, two!) whole facial expressions - I would've thought El Blobface would've been the ideal pick for the remake of Judge Dreadful. Of course watching the judge flatten baddies with his walker might have taken something away from the spirit of the original.

  24. RichardB


    should be Clint.... definately!

  25. Matthew Greet

    As long as they remember it's about Mega City One, not Judge Dredd

    Judge Dredd himself is a fairly one dimensional character, albeit rigid and violent. The appeal of Judge Dredd is not Dredd himself, rather what happens in the dystopian Mega City he inhabits. As long as the writers and director understands this.

    1. Yesnomaybe
      Thumb Up


      Good point well made.

  26. Martin Howe

    Word on the street is...

    ... Stallone was willing to keep the helmet on, but the studio overruled him, having paid "big" money for a well-known star. He regards the film as a lost opportunity for the Cursed Earth scenario among others. The opening montage of 2000ADs was his idea.

    Wonder how much of that is true?

  27. Stuart Halliday

    Get it right Reg.

    "with the power to enforce the law, sentence offenders and execute them on the spot"

    Err no... Dredd would never execute a tried criminal. Oh please try to keep up.


    Childhood Trauma

    I'm still recovering from the wevelation that Walter the Wobot's 'pleasure center' was in his gwoin.

  29. David 141

    No-one wants to see the comic book

    They'll never make a screen Dredd like the comic book Dredd because the comic book Dredd has zero appeal for most people. Hell, many comic book villains are more likeable than Dredd. Dredd is basically an asshole; an asshole with too much power.

    I can't think of a comic book "hero" who is less likable than Dredd, and if they made him like the comic book half the audience would walk out.

  30. a.4

    Nemesis / Torquemada

    While we're all grousing about the good old days of Toothy and how accurate the film will (won't) be, why not sell the Nemesis / Torquemada rights off to a Japanese studio? There are a number of magical / demons / robots / corrupt leaders themed series of anime around, and they're bent enough to pull it off. Just a thought. Off to the shed to clean Cheryl.

  31. neek
    IT Angle

    The earth transformed into ... "The Cursed Earth"

    Mr Pedantic here.. I'm looking at a freeze-frame of the 1995 movie, whose intro reads:

    In the third millennium, the world changed. Climate. Nations. All were in upheaval... the earth transformed into a poisonous scorched desert, known as "the Cursed Earth".

    So the first movie used rather ambiguous wording which could refer to the planet Earth, or since the text above lacks a capital E on Earth, simply that some earth became scorched and it was called 'the Cursed Earth'.

    For the new movie, one could argue that "on Cursed Earth" is dramatic wording implying that events transpire on earth which is considered cursed, and is not necessarily referring to the entire planet or even a region that we fans know as "_the_ Cursed Earth", i.e. that area of nuclear wasteland occupying much of what is currently mainland USA.

    I, for one, welcome the new retelling of the old favourite, and will be grateful for what we get. My memories shall remain unsullied.

    Thumb Down

    judge dredd returing

    is it another pocksy remake like all the other remakes nowadays i mean seriously its pathetic

  33. Mike Hanna

    Strontium Dogs Please

    Althogh I'm a huge fan, Johnny Alpha would be a far better film character than Dredd. Throw in Midden Face McNulty and a cameo from Joe Pinapples and all would be right with the world. Although if they do it a la Batman and Batman Rreturns with the baddie as the star and make it about Judge Death that would

    And whichever Japanese crew take on Nemesis and Torquemada should pick up Slaine as well. :)

  34. a.4

    Slaine fan film teaser trailer

    Mike -- have you seen this? \m/(>_<)\m/

  35. Mike Hanna

    No way!

    If that's not proof that a Slaine film should be made, then I don't know what is! Please let's not have Ray Winston involved in any part...

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