Most audiences are probably familiar with the bloated 1995 Judge Dredd starring Sylvester Stallone, a big, lurching actioner that failed to capture what has made Judge Joseph Dredd a popular character for thirty-five years. Those years are sort of the subject of this new Dredd featurette. It includes no small amount of footage from the film, of course, as well as interviews with new Dredd Karl Urban, but it's mostly focused on Dredd's existence as a comic book character going back to his creation and first appearance in the pages of British sci-fi publication 2000 A.D.
There's even plenty of talk from John Wagner, who created the uncompromising hero with Carlos Ezquerra. Of the character, Wagner explains, "It's one of the beauties of Dredd that you can tell any kind of story. You can tell an outright comedy, you can tell a tearjerking tragedy, you can tell a political satire. Anything goes in Dredd because you've got this vast city."
Of interest to me was an address of the tension between Dredd's heroic and fascistic impulses, as Urban says,"I always to responded to the fact you never knew if he was the villain or the hero. He could be both. Earlier on he was singular about upholding the law, but over the last 15 years he's developed as a character, we've seen this maturity come into the writing. Not everything in Dredd's world is as it used to be. He questions the system. In Alex's script, by the end of the movie you can just see the tiniest cracks appear in Dredd's world view."
Urban's carrying Dredd, even if we only see the lower half of his face for the whole movie, but Olivia Thirlby plays his rookie partner and Lena Headey opposes him as Ma-Ma Madrigal, the vicious criminal overlord responsible for the drug epidemic in Mega-City One.
Dredd hits theaters in 2D and 3D on September 21st, so grab some Rogue 3D Eyewear right quick.