Judge Dredd creator talks new film

It’s no secret that the reaction to Judge Dredd , the Sylvester Stallone-starring adaptation of the famous 2000AD comic, was muted at best when the film hit our screens back in 1995.

However, that hasn’t stopped Lionsgate from reanimating the franchise in the form of Dredd , in which Karl Urban inherits the helmet from his grizzled predecessor. And according to Judge Dredd creator John Wagner, this version will be a lot more faithful to its source material.

Dredd homes in on the essential job of judging,” says Wagner. “Instant justice in a violent future city… The plot is about Dredd and his world. It’s impossible to cover every aspect of the character and his city. Perhaps that was one of the failings of the first film. They tried to do too much and ended up with not a lot.”

“They told the wrong story,” says Wagner, warming to his theme. “It didn’t have that much to do with Dredd the character as we know him. I don’t think Stallone was a bad Dredd, though it would have been better and lent him more cred if he hadn’t revealed his face. He was just Dredd in the wrong story. I envy their budget, though. Some of the CGI was very good.”

Wagner is far more optimistic about the new adaptation. “I like the actors,” he says. “They’re well cast and they handled their parts well. Olivia Thirlby is perfect as Anderson, the young psi judge. She gives the character a touching vulnerability. Karl Urban will not remove his helmet and will not kiss his co-star.”

Directed by Vantage Point ’s Pete Travis, Dredd will open in the US on 21 September 2012, with a UK date yet to be confirmed.

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