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Karl Urban is Judge Dredd

JudgeDredd.jpgLast week Karl Urban was confirmed as being the new Judge Dredd and that in turn meant we were getting a new Judge Dredd film. The most important part of it all seemed to be that Dredd will be treated as seriously as Batman has been.

Now that is good news, because it means the helmet stays on, the concentration is on the character, and it's going to be R rated.

Now after The Tillman Story news that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be as tough as some of the comics, but what it does mean is that there could be swearing, and repeated scenes of violence, that's really all that's needed to hit the R judging by the reading of the rating, and that doesn't mean it's going to end up a great Judge Dredd film automatically.

Karl Urban is a good actor though, and he's good in action roles. However it's what the producer Andrew Macdonald says about the new Judge Dredd to Empire that reveals the best news of the film:

"The main thing about Dredd is that it's a fantastic comic that was completely messed up 20 years ago...Our idea is to make a very hard, R-rated, gritty, realistic movie of Dredd in Megacity, so we've got to get the tone right. He's not going to take off his helmet. His bike is going to feel real. He's going to hit people and it's going to feel real...

...We'll be shooting in Johannesburg, it's being directed by Pete Travis, we're shooting with the people who did District 9 - and if we get it right, Alex has a couple of ideas for other stories as well. It's not based on any one comic, and John Wagner is involved in every decision."

He points out that comic book films have changed from not being taken seriously to being treated very seriously, no thanks in part to Christopher Nolan I'm sure, but that does open the way for a strong Judge Dredd film.

He also confirmed Urban for the lead role, and all in all this sounds like strong news for the remake. Mind you, they aren't going back to that story, and indeed it doesn't sound like they are going back to any story in particular but making their own.

Now I like that decision, because this is a new and different Dredd. When going to film you can't just port across a comic-book story or character, and I think that's where so many of the comic-book films fail, they have to look at translating the character as well as the story for film.

Pete Travis is a strong directing choice too, there's Henry VIII and Omagh from television, followed by Vantage Point which really did have a strong two acts to it, the ending just let it down.

I have no doubt this Dredd will turn out better than the first, but will it turn out to be a strong comic-book film? It certainly has a lot to live up to.



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