Judge Dredd creator talks new film

John Wagner gives his view on Dredd

It’s no secret that the reaction to Judge Dredd, the Sylvester Stallone-starring adaptation of the famous 2000AD comic, was muted at best when the film hit our screens back in 1995.

However, that hasn’t stopped Lionsgate from reanimating the franchise in the form of Dredd, in which Karl Urban inherits the helmet from his grizzled predecessor. And according to Judge Dredd creator John Wagner, this version will be a lot more faithful to its source material.

Dredd homes in on the essential job of judging," says Wagner. "Instant justice in a violent future city... The plot is about Dredd and his world. It’s impossible to cover every aspect of the character and his city. Perhaps that was one of the failings of the first film. They tried to do too much and ended up with not a lot.”

“They told the wrong story,” says Wagner, warming to his theme. “It didn’t have that much to do with Dredd the character as we know him. I don’t think Stallone was a bad Dredd, though it would have been better and lent him more cred if he hadn’t revealed his face. He was just Dredd in the wrong story. I envy their budget, though. Some of the CGI was very good.”

Wagner is far more optimistic about the new adaptation. “I like the actors," he says. "They’re well cast and they handled their parts well. Olivia Thirlby is perfect as Anderson, the young psi judge. She gives the character a touching vulnerability. Karl Urban will not remove his helmet and will not kiss his co-star.”

Directed by Vantage Point’s Pete Travis, Dredd will open in the US on 21 September 2012, with a UK date yet to be confirmed.

Are you excited to see Judge Dredd on the big screen again, or did Sly put you off for good? Tell us, below.


    • murphy

      Jan 20th 2012, 14:12

      I grew up reading 2000ad and always hoped for a decent Judge Dredd film,sounds like this one could be a lot closer to that than the Stallone effort,i await with bated breath.

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    • FBDReborn

      Jan 20th 2012, 17:54

      Really do hope this is a good film so we can have more films from the 2000as stable. Slain,Strontium Dog,Rouge Trooper ,ABC Warriors.... I could go on.

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    • McSerious

      Jan 20th 2012, 22:52

      I'm unfamiliar with the comics, and I haven't watched Sly's Judge in years... But sticking to source material doesn't necessarily mean it will be good. I really like Karl Urban but the whole keeping the helmet on thing... Will it be possible to appreciate a near-faceless character? Not pre-judging it but I'm far from optimistic.

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    • Hadouken76

      Jan 21st 2012, 19:21

      Robocop (which was influenced by JD) spent most of the time near-faceless, so it I'm sure it will work as long as they dont try and soften Dredd like the cop-out Hollywood version. Dredd maybe an anti-hero but he's a facist. I actually saw the 1995 version recently, the 'flying bike' CGI is still woeful and cheap, but the sets, make up and animatronics are spectacular. So close...

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    • Murphy0806

      Jan 21st 2012, 19:36

      True, Robocop was faceless for most of the film but we got to see him as Alex Murphy first which made us sympathise with him. I'm really unsure about this, hated the Stallone version (like everyone else) and aside from some better casting just don't see it being any good. Plus the director previous work includes The Bill and Cold Feet.

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    • abberline

      Jan 21st 2012, 22:26

      well, it worked in v for vendetta, at least i thought it did. . . . .

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    • FBDReborn

      Jan 22nd 2012, 13:32

      The Helmet IS his face.

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    • georgeWW

      Jan 22nd 2012, 16:11

      been reading the comics since I was a kid and although the original film was alright it wasn't on par with what the comics deserved hope they get it right this time around, Dredd removing his helmet what was that about its like they never read the comics before making the film

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    • Ali1748

      Jan 22nd 2012, 23:57

      Time we had a trailer.

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