In 1995, Sylvester Stallone and director Danny Cannon butchered a beloved British comic book character. The Disney-produced Judge Dredd (adapted from the popular 2000 AD comics) was all style, no substance and was the first in an almost never-ending series of cinematic duds from the Rocky star (Daylight, Driven, D-Tox). Because the film strayed so far from the source material, many fans have longed to see their favorite judge, jury and executioner reincarnated for the big screen and now it looks like a well-known genre star will don the helmet and become “the law”.
Digital Spy reports that Karl Urban will take on the iconic character in IM Global’s new take on Dredd. Pete Travis (Vantage Point) will direct from a script by Alex Garland (28 Days Later). I’m already more optimistic about this attempt at adapting the character because of the significantly more streamlined approach to the project’s development. The original film had three credited writers (including current power-producer Michael De Luca and Terminator scribe William Wisher) – a process which often leads to a clash of ideas that can convolute a story. Garland penned this version on his own and given his impressive track record with Danny Boyle (which also resulted in the criminally underrated Sunshine and The Beach), I’ve got no reason to doubt him.
As for the man behind the helmet, Urban is no stranger to sci-fi or action. The New Zealander has been a working actor for almost twenty years, but became a valued commodity for genre fare after he ventured to Middle Earth to play Eomer in Peter Jackson’s gargantuan Lord Of The Rings trilogy (he appeared in the latter pair of films). More physical roles followed, including 2004’s The Chronicles of Riddick and The Bourne Supremacy, 2005’s Doom and 2007’s Pathfinder. By the time audiences got a taste of his critically-hailed turn as Bones in 2009’s Star Trek, Urban was already circling the Dredd remake, but officially committed to the character over the weekend after dropping hints about it at the San Diego Comic Con.
Judge Dredd is scheduled to lense this fall for a summer 2012 release, which would give Urban two films to promote that year (the second being the eagerly-awaited Star Trek sequel). In the meantime, you can catch him in this October’s Red opposite Bruce Willis and in next summer’s Priest with Paul Bettany and Maggie Q.
Source: Digital Spy