‘Dredd 2’ Definitely Isn’t Happening, According to Writer Alex Garland
Most people who saw 2012’s Dredd, a dark reboot of the classic British comic book anti-hero Judge Dredd, dug it. Almost 20 years after Sylvester Stallone made a thoroughly campy mess of the property in Judge Dredd, director Pete Travis, screenwriter Alex Garland and star Karl Urban produced a far more faithful version of Dredd with a bleak tone, gritty action, and a hero who never takes off his signature helmet.
Almost immediately, fans began clamoring for a sequel, but here is the cold hard fact: Dredd was a flop. The movie made just $13 million in the U.S. and $22 internationally against a $50 million budget. Stallone’s Judge Turd Dredd made $113 million worldwide in 1995 (or about $175 million in 2015 dollars). If that movie was considered a disaster, and sidelined the franchise for two decades, it’s going to be a really long time before there’s another Dredd sequel.
There isn’t, as far as I can tell, going to be a Dredd sequel. The basic mechanics of film financing say that if you make a film that loses a ton of money, you're not going to get a sequel. And that's basically what happened ... So the support for the film is truly appreciated. But if there is going to be a sequel, it's not going to be me and the team of people who worked on the previous film, it's going to be another bunch of people. And good luck to them, and I hope it happens. I really do. I hope they do a better job than we did.
Garland also noted that people trying to get Dredd DVD buying campaigns going — in the hope that they might boost sales enough to get studio executives to change their mind — might as well give up. “Keep your money,” he said. “Because the people that are making the decisions are much colder and harder than that.” Just like Judge Dredd himself!
This is an important reminder: If you’re interested in something, whether it’s a movie or music or a comic book or whatever, you need to financially support it. I hear these reports of rabid fans coming out of the woodwork begging for a Dredd 2 and wonder where these people were three years ago when the film barely lasted six weeks in theaters. How could a movie with this many fans make so little money? Did they all torrent it instead of buying a ticket? Pay for the stuff you love so they make more of it. Judge Dredd says he’s the law, but in Hollywood the man in charge is the almighty dollar.