There are plenty of movie franchises out there that keep getting sequels while even the most dedicated film fans sit back and wonder why these movies keep happening. Then there are the great movies that come out and set up a beautiful world. They work, they’re great, but for whatever reason, they don’t get a sequel. Welcome to Second Reel a new weekly editorial where we argue on behalf of a movie that we want more of. The first movie we are going to advocate for is Dredd from 2012.
Dredd is an adaptation of the 2000 A.D. comics featuring Judge Dredd. The movie starred Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, and Lena Headey and was directed by Pete Travis though reports came out later that the movie was mostly ghost directed by Alex Garland. It embraced the futuristic look of the city and featured a Judge Dredd that never took off his helmet and great, over the top, R-rated violence. For fans of the comics, it was a pretty note-perfect adaptation.
So what happened? Well, the movie bombed quite spectacularly. It has a listed budget of up to $45 million and it only made $41.5 million at the box office, Great reviews couldn’t save this one, and Dredd was relegated to the cult classic bin for those who knew it existed.
How did that happened? Dredd was ahead of its time. In 2012 the idea of an R-rated comic book movie was still something that mainstream film fans weren’t yet ready for. Deadpool was still several years away and hanging out in development hell at this point. It was mere months after The Avengers changed the way we look at comic book movies for forever. If Dredd came out today it would likely have an audience but in 2012 no one knew it existed.
There have been talks about a sequel for years. Urban has been saying he wants it to happen, and now there is a TV show in development. However, we believe that a full-blown movie sequel is something that needs to happen too. The market for comic book movies is very different now than it was in 2012. Movies like Logan and the two Deadpool movies show that there is an audience for R-rated comic book movies.
This is also a sequel that could happen because the star very passionate about it. Urban has been very upfront about the fact that he wants to do another one. Garland, who wrote the script, has become an accomplished director himself since 2012. Ex Machina became quite the sensation and if he really did ghost direct this movie he absolutely has the tools to make this movie happen now.
What this movie needs is a studio willing to put a little bit of time and marketing power behind it. A lot of people didn’t know what Dredd was at the time or why they should go to the theaters to care. A good marketing campaign that really shows off what kind of movie this could be will help. This is also the sort of thing that could go to a streaming service. While Bright was a critical bomb it was high concept science fiction and fantasy that did pretty well on Netflix. Perhaps Hulu or Amazon Prime, or whoever gets the TV rights, could have a movie series running at the same time.
It’s always a shame when a movie does all the right things and doesn’t succeed. In the case of Dredd, it was loyal to its source material and gave the fans the type of movie they should want, and it fell completely flat. Timing, however, is everything and in this case Dredd was ahead of its time. The times have changed and movies with niche appeals can do well if they are marketed well and budgeted within reason. This is why we believe that Dredd 2012 deserve a second reel and a sequel.
Should Dredd (2012) Get a Sequel?