The Dredd sequel seems to be the movie that everyone wants to see, yet no one wants to make. The first film struggled at the box office when it was released back in 2012,* bringing in $13 million theatrically on a $50 million budget. Then came home video, where word of mouth about the brutal murder movie from director Pete Travis started to spread, making Dredd one of the biggest hits on DVD and Blu-ray that same year.
So it makes sense that every few months or so a rumor will kick off about a possible sequel. While the producers from the first film have largely kept quiet about sequel prospects, one man is keeping hope alive: star Karl Urban, who’s out there saying he has some idea where the next film – a prequel, he suggests – might just go.
Genre site Shallow Graves reports speaking with Urban during Chicago Comic-Con, where they asked him what the status was on Dredd 2. His answer was surprisingly direct (and surprising in the direction it went):
“Why yes, there is a definite possibility,” he told Shallow Graves. “But, it is more likely that we will do the origins story with Dredd trekking through the cursed earth to find the first Chief Judge Fargo.”
A prequel could be interesting, although after so effectively establishing the world and Urban’s take on the character, I’m curious why they’d want to head back into Dredd’s past. There was one little tease in writer Alex Garland’s script about something being “off” about Dredd when psychic Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) scanned him – that seems like the kind of thing another film could pick up. Given the ground-level take of the first film, I’m betting we probably won’t see the kind of weirdness that Judge Death would bring (although that’s kind of at the top of my list for the next story to make its way to film).
Publisher 2000 AD recently provided the first official sequel to the film with new comic from the creative team of Arthur Wyatt and artist Henry Flint titled “Underbelly.”
In any event, I think we’re all just ready to see Karl Urban back under the helmet again.
*Anecdotally, I heard at the time it was because Lionsgate chose to put way more 3D releases of the film in the theaters rather than 2D versions. It also didn’t help that some people wondered if this was some kind of sequel to the not-as-bad-as-everyone-pretends-but-still-bad Stallone flick.