Judge Dredd is one of the most underrated comic book anti-heroes some people probably have never heard of. Wait, maybe they did, thanks to that old movie starring Sylvester Stallone with Rob Schneider as his co-star. I don’t think I ever even finished it. Just watch it as a comedy and a corny ’90s action movie with Sylvester Stallone flexing his huge biceps. If you know anything about the Judge Dredd character, you’ll know that the ’90s movie gets him wrong in just about every way. The most noticeable sin they committed was actually having him remove his iconic helmet. So for most of the movie, we just saw Sylvester Stallone and not him being the character. Boy, that was very disappointing. That’s okay, because we got a proper portrayal of the character seventeen years later.
If you didn’t see the 2012 movie Dredd starring the criminally underrated Karl Urban as the titular character, you’re missing out. In fact, not enough people went to see it and those poor box office numbers are the reason we never got a sequel for it. That’s very unfortunate, considering how incredibly better this movie was next to Stallone’s movie. If you want to see a proper iteration of Judge Dredd done right, then this movie is the one to watch. With Karl Urban’s stellar performance as the character and the top notch action to go along with it, I would say fans would welcome a sequel. So the 2012 Judge Dredd movie (just Dredd) flopped and that makes the possibility of a sequel pretty low. It’s not impossible, so just have the never say never attitude. If it does happen, I wonder how it will step up from the first one. Now Judge Dredd isn’t on the same popularity level as comic book heroes like Batman or Spider-Man, but that’s partly because his stories are much darker. Like, much, much darker.
Now let’s pretend even further that the Sylvester Stallone movie never happened. The world of Judge Dredd is a dark and unforgiving place rife with crime. The 2012 movie covers the setting of his world perfectly: he resides in the dystopian future in the year 2099. Most of Earth is has been ravaged by war and has been reduced to a radioactive wasteland. The Earth’s population live in “mega-cities”, with Judge Dredd living in Mega-City One. As the 2012 movie explained, the many citizens of Mega-City One live in crime-infested areas, where brutal gangs call the shots. With unemployment at a constant high rate, many good-natured people are forced to fall in with the street gangs. In a megalopolis that is plagued by chaos, there is only one thing to enforce the law and maintain order: The street judges in the Grand Hall of Justice. Judge Dredd is one of the many judges working for the Justice Department. They act as police officer, judge, jury, and if necessary, executioner. That’s how Dredd opened and established that setting, but seeing him in action was just incredible. The Ma-Ma character played by Lena Headey was created just for the movie and she was a great antagonist. If the first movie can do that with an original antagonist, then a sequel can do one better with a villain from the comics.
Before I get into that, let’s talk about expanding the main supporting character, Judge Cassie Anderson. As a rookie judge with psychic abilities, she made for a useful sidekick-type character for Judge Dredd. Her ending as passing her field test for a judge meant a big step in her character development, as well as Dredd himself. As the stern, no-nonsense cop character who was strictly by the book to pass Anderson, despite her technically failing her field test, meant he was more than just an emotionless enforcer. This is something that can really be developed further in the sequel. Speaking of which, Olivia Thirlby, the actress who plays Anderson, really wants to return for the role in a sequel. Of course, she wants Karl Urban to return and fight crime alongside him, as well as producer Alex Garland. If they can get Pete Travis back to direct, then they got something to work with. They need a director who gets the character and the world, so if Travis can’t return, then they need someone who appreciates the character. And yes, part of that means don’t have Judge Dredd remove his helmet.
And now, back to the villains. I want Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby to reprise their roles and be a dynamic duo once again. They have have a list of enemies they can take on, including more street gangs, corrupt judges, and some of Judge Dredd’s biggest enemies from the comics. Some candidates include his clone Rico Dredd, Judge Edgar, and probably his most famous enemy, Judge Death, the leader of the Dark Judges. These are the kinds of enemies of Judge Dredd who can make for perfect antagonists for Dredd 2. Who doesn’t want to see an undead judge take on Karl Urban’s Judge Dredd? The villain literally looks like he comes straight out of a horror movie. This is just the first ingredients of the recipe that would make for a good Dredd 2. With the right crew and the right characters, I have no doubt they can deliver even better action than the first movie. As long as they nail that, we can have another fun time. Like I said, never say never, because there’s still a chance Dredd 2 can happen. The Judge Dredd character is just way too cool to not have in another movie. With all the different directions they can go in, the sequel can be better than the first.
What are your thoughts? Do you think it’s possible to see Karl Urban as Judge Dredd again? He seems to be busy with Billy Butcher for now, but I’m sure he can clear his schedule for another awesome anti-hero. Give him that Lawgiver gun, his motorcycle, the helmet, and just make sure he says “Judgement time” once again. Oh, please make this happen.