New ‘Dredd’ Featurette Highlights The Judge’s Weapons & Equipment

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 10:25 pm,

The Dredd reboot may already be released overseas, but North American audiences still have a few days left to wait. In anticipation of the film’s opening, a new video has been released, which gives new insight into the arsenal and armor of Mega-City One’s Judges.

Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) will absolutely hog the spotlight as the grim embodiment of capital punishment, but there are sure to be plenty of science fiction and action fans who find just as much to love about the gear, the gun, and the motorcycle.

Rather than recreating exactly what was seen in the comic, in real life – as the 1995 Sylvester Stallone film adaptation did – the focus is on the greater believability. Where the previous film captured the look and feel of the character fairly well, the plot and forces at work soon escalated far beyond a single man’s duty as enforcer of law and order.¬†Judge Dredd creator John Wagner has been quite kind about that project’s shortcomings, but places most of his optimism for the reboot in its plot being concerned, first and foremost, with “the essential job of judging.”

Karl Urban Judge Dredd Suit New Dredd Featurette Highlights The Judges Weapons & Equipment

So instead of making fans happy by dressing Dredd in a flashy, gold-plated set of shoulder pads and patent leather, the minds at work here are more intent on the outfit and equipment making sense. From the very first images released it was clear that director Peter Travis’ adaptation would take place in a world where almost nothing could be polished to a shine, let alone an active Judge’s badge and pauldrons. Functionality over form may not always be the best choice in the genre of science fiction, but there’s no denying that Karl Urban’s gruff, grimy Dredd is more intimidating in action than Stallone’s spit-polished version.

It’s this commitment to realism that is behind almost all aspects of Dredd’s costume and equipment. No space-aged laser blaster for Judge Dredd, only a compact 9mm pistol designed to function as it would in real life (or close to it). It may not be the most impressive version of the ‘Lawgiver,’ but there’s no denying that it fits the overall look and feel. The same can be said for the body armor and ‘Lawmaster’ motorcycles, which make it blatantly clear that the man in the suit, not the suit itself, are what criminals are going to be intimidated by.

That design philosophy and internally-consistent logic speaks as much to the costume design as it does to the main antagonists in the film: producers and dealers of the drug referred to as ‘Slow-Mo.’ The hallucinogen allows the brain to perceive the world at just 1% of its actual speed, and lies at the center of the crime ring that both Dredd and Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) are sent to disrupt.

Judge Dredd Lawmaster Lawgiver 570x249 New Dredd Featurette Highlights The Judges Weapons & Equipment

It would be easy to write off the drug’s effects as merely an opportunity to produce some truly incredible visual effects shots (which it certainly does), but the fact that writer Alex Garland has come up with a drug that would grant residents of the filthy, decaying world of Mega-City One a chance to experience something beautiful makes sense – though ranted, the exploration into the drug-induced experience is unlikely to go particularly deep. However, from what Garland has been saying about the possible direction for sequels, there’s plenty more ideas to pick up where this film leaves off.

While most of the strength of Dredd lies in its choreography, attitude, and commitment to delivering something that fans will at least respect, there’s no question that this attention to detail is a good way of setting the film up for success.But even if the film only manages to be a pulpy, niche action movie, star Karl Urban will be more than happy.

How do you feel about the new look as opposed to that of the comics? Is the darker, more grounded tone something that will get at the real attitude of the source material, or is it just not Judge Dredd without golden eagle shoulder pads?

Dredd releases in theaters on September 21, 2012.


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  1. New Dredd look is following the latest trend on comic adaptations to movies by going with a more realistic or believable approach. The comic version tried to give the Judges a more glorified look since they are the pinnacle of justice. With 2012 Dredd the Judges are gritty and more militaristic since a shiny costume will make them as easy target.

    Cant wait for Dredd 3D. Good reviews only increases my impatience!

    • Agreed about the new Judge body armor in this film, the costumes from the comic-book simply wouldn’t work onscreen unless you were making an adaptation which was virtually verbatim from page to screen, with strong satirical overtones and a heavy emphasis on gallows humor… of course, such an adaptation would have cost a lot more than the $40m they had to make this one, although I for one am glad they did it exactly the way they have done, bravo to all involved for making one great Judge Dredd movie!

      And let’s hope they get a solid return at the box-office, enough to get a sequel of about $50m in budget, hopefully dropping the 3-D, and having the pro-democracy terrorist/Cursed Earth story that screenwriter Alex Garland has mentioned in recent interviews…

    • I personally disagree with the realistic approach because that’s not what Dredd is all about. So stripping out all of those over the top elements leaves us nothing but a shell of the true character and left with a riot cop with a few gadgets.

      I’m not saying the movie is bad, only that this is not the Dredd I wanted to see. I would have preferred they had waited until they actually HAD the budget to do it correctly.

      • They did do it correctly. The more stylised version you wanted wouldn’t have worked, besides, if you knew your stuff, then you’d know that this version of Dredd’s design is almost identical to very early drawings of Dredd in the comic. It was only later that artists started drawing the ridiculously exaggerated shoulder pads. Mega City 1 also has been through different iterations as the years went on. Once again, early versions of the blocks drawn looked similar to those seen in this film. The Lawmaster is the only thing that is radically different, and it’s easy to see why. How ridiculous would a fully function swat cop/judge look in the future driving a 70′s style Harley with camp looking handles and body kit like in the comics? It wouldn’t make sense. Imagine looking over your shoulder and seeing a judge like the one seen in this film riding a 500cc super bike monster with guns on it. You’d think twice about trying to out run that in a chase. Nothing is getting away from it. Also, I don’t know if you noticed, but that was John Wagner talking in the video. He approved mostly everything seen in this film, so it is done correctly as it’s his vision also.

        • As I said….the version “I” wanted to see.

          While this look might be closer to the original drawings, it is not the iconic and long lived visuals we have come to identify with Dredd. That argument is like saying you wanted the original drawings of Superman or Spiderman. For me it’s the final look they settled on that is what should have been used (imho)

          The over the top, exaggerated elements are also a part of the “charm” of the comic and not “ridiculous”.

          I actually found someone who manageed to pull off a cosplay version of Dredd that does look both good and matches:

          And just becasue Wagner signed off on it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what he originally wanted. On a budget of 45 mil the extra elements were probably cut for the realistic approach becase of costs.

      • I understand where you’re coming from, mongoose dude, but the whole point is they would NEVER have had the budget you wanted, the fiasco that was the 1995 movie saw to that; no-one one wanted to make another attempt at a Judge Dredd movie after the last one bombed hard at the box-office, yet ironically it was precisely because of the failure of the last one that the rights to the character were able to be obtained at a cost-effective price by DNA Films, who were able to pull off this one on a modest $45m budget.

        I would love to have seen a big-budget Judge Dredd movie that properly reflected the source material, but the time for that was in the 1990′s, and they blew it big time, although in saying that, you COULD do a pretty verbatim adaptation of the comic-book for a relatively modest budget if you shot it like ’300′ or ‘Sin City’; almost entirely against green/blue screen, and add Mega-City One and other environments and details later in post-production… that actually would work, but I’m glad they did it the way they did, you can’t replicate authenticity in a computer!

  2. Looking forward to Dredd and I love the motorcycle. His gun reminds me of the machine pistols from the Mass Effect games :D

  3. Excited for this.

  4. Soooooo, but I mean SOOO sick of the STUPID, remake, redux, re-imagined, re-do, do over mentality that is plaguing Hollywood these days! STOP THE MADNESS! Strive for ORIGINALITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hang on a mo’ there, Morpheus, ‘Dredd’ is a completely new adaptation of a comic-book that’s been going for some 35 years, and it wasn’t made by Hollywood – it was made by an independent British production company, funded by Indian money, and shot in South Africa – however, it WAS Hollywood that made the first attempt at a Judge Dredd film back in 1995, and which was both a total creative debacle and an abject commercial failure. Judge Dredd deserves at least one truly great film adaptation that does the source material justice, and it has finally gotten one with this new movie…

  5. I hate to say it but even after all the details about the weapons and vehicles, and the business about the drug, having seen The Raid has lessened my excitement for this. It never looked like a blockbuster to me anyway, but I could see it maybe getting cult status.

    • Shame. Because “The Raid” started production after “DREDD”, but got out of the gate first. Really bad timing for “DREDD”.

  6. the raid was good dredd is better .you belive in dredd but some of the fights in the raid whent for so long it raised the question how are these 2 alive let alone hitting each other.the other thing is this is street cop dredd on a normal day in mega city one no one is in awe of him and he has no real myth yet this is pre some very nasty things that will reshape the city and dredd but this is before that and is wonderful eye candy

  7. Does anyone remember a film called the ‘Cat from out of Space’??, well in 2007 my uncle Raymond was lucky enough to meet Ronnie Schell, who voiced the titular cat. It was shortly before Christmas and Ronnie was then touring with a cabaret show titled ’5 star revenue’, the reviews were, if I were to be kind, hit and miss. But by the time they had reached the Diamond Theater in Newport Pagnell Ronnie was on high as the reviews of his performance had, on the whole, been largely positive. ‘Can I buy you drink Ronnie?’ asked my Uncle Raymond, ‘Sure why not, mines a scotch!’. So it was that the two sat down. What’s all this got to do with Judge Dredd? I

    But Ronnie, Raymond informs me, was a real stand out. So what does all this have to do with Judge Dredd

  8. Does anyone remember a film called the ‘Cat from out of Space’??, well in 1995 my uncle Raymond was lucky enough to meet Ronnie Schell, who voiced the titular cat. It was around Christmas time, Ronnie was then touring with a cabaret show titled ’5 star revenue’, the reviews were, if one were kind, hit and miss. But by the time they had reached the Diamond Theater in Newport Pagnell Ronnie was on a high as his performance had been generally lauded ‘Can I buy you drink Ronnie?’ asked my Uncle Raymond, ‘Sure why not, mines a scotch!’. So it was that the two sat down. ‘Have another?’ said Raymond. ‘No thanks bud, I’m off to see the new Judge Dredd movie!’. Said Ronnie. What a small world eh!.

  9. I went to see it in 3d my god what a great film and it came from a English comic hope they make more and yes I will be making a lawmaster and buying the DVD can’t wait