Dredd, the most recent big-screen interpretation of the Judge Dredd comic book series, earned a very loyal cult following not long after it opened in theaters back in 2012. However, Dredd 2 is a film that is unlikely to ever be made due to the first installment's weak box office turnout (it grossed $35 million worldwide on a $50 million budget in theaters).
This begs the question: does Dredd's strong critical reception, but weak commercial turnout make it a "success", a "failure", or something in between? For his part, the purveyor of justice and order himself, Dredd star Karl Urban has acknowledged that while the movie was a financial dud, that doesn't mean he considers it a "failure", by default.
During an interview with Den of Geek, Urban offered his take on the matter of Dredd's critical/commercial returns. Although the film was branded a "failure" in the opinion of Dredd screenwriter, Alex Garland, Urban feels otherwise:
Alex Garland has gone on record to say that Dredd was a failure. I disagree. The movie itself was not a failure, in fact it was a critical success, it just failed to perform at the box office. How does a movie with a 78% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes fail? Through zero audience awareness. Nobody knew the movie was being released. Dredd represents a failure in marketing, not filmmaking. Dredd sold 750,000 units, in North America, the first week it went on on DVD, which earned it a lot of money and the number one slot. Proof that the audience, once they became aware, wanted to see it.
Urban, during that same interview, mused on the possibility of a Dredd 2, admitting that he found making the first film very rewarding and would be onboard for a followup - but that a Dredd sequel is also not "an easy sell":
The unfortunate theatrical release of Dredd and the manner in which it was mishandled made it problematic for Dredd 2 to be immediately funded and produced in the same fashion. But the success it has achieved in all post-theatrical mediums has definitely strengthened the argument in favour of a sequel. But it’s not an easy sell. I’m constantly blown away by the fan support and love for Dredd. I get stopped and asked about Dredd most days, I find it strangely ironic that to get recognised and associated with a character whose face is largely obscured behind a helmet.
Thereafter, Urban once again openly encouraged fan campaigns for another installment of the Dredd franchise and reaffirmed his previously-stated willingness for a possible collaboration with on online service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, so long as the project would be "legitimate and worthy." Urban liked argued that the recent success of everyone's favorite disfigured Hello Kitty fan, Deadpool, has demonstrated a clear audience demand for R-rated comic book movies.
This news will likely be music to the ears of Dredd fans who were largely impressed by the film's gritty and brutal style, as well as Urban's authentic take on the title character. That big screen version of the Judge Dredd comic property has certainly received considerably more love than the 1995 version featuring Sly Stallone. Nevertheless, the fact remains: that may not be enough to ensure that Urban's version of Dredd will ever, in fact, return... though that won't stop fans from hoping, all the same.
We will bring you any information on a potential Dredd 2 as it becomes available.
Source: Den of Geek