The creators of Judge Dredd: Mega-City One revealed at San Diego Comic-Con today that writer Rob Williams has finished the script for the upcoming TV series pilot. Williams is no stranger to the property, as he's been writing stories for anthology magazine 2000AD, including Judge Dredd stories, for years. He's heading up the creative team for the TV series, which is expected to premieres sometime in 2019.
Mega City One will take place in the eponymous metropolis, which occupies the better part of the eastern coast of the United States. It will air on SyFy as a joint venture between Rebellion, which owns the Judge Dredd character, and the television arm of IM Global. IM produced the 2012 Dredd film, which received critical acclaim and has become a fan-favorite, despite failing to earn enough money at the box office to justify a sequel. Karl Urban is open to reprising his role as the dystopian enforcer, but whether he actually will do so is up to the strength of the material.
THR reports that the Mega-City One TV pilot script is finished, with Rebellion saying the creators have already planned out two years of the story. While the focus of the show will be on the authoritarian police force, Judge Dredd won't be the only important character. Williams and his team have conceived the series as an ensemble piece that will focus on several different enforcers. In a statement, executive producer Jason Kingsley said: “I’ve read the pilot script by Rob and the team, and got that same thrill I did when I first discovered Judge Dredd. I’m very pleased with how the whole project is coming together and looking forward to more exciting announcements in the coming months.”
In the world of Mega City One, overpopulation and the resulting rise in crime have created a dramatic response to combat such things. Police officers like Judge Dredd have the authority to arrest and sentence perpetrators on the spot. And the punishment in this super-violent dystopian world is usually death. The first live-action adaptation of Judge Dredd was the unsuccessful 1995 project starring Sylvester Stallone. Neither critics nor general audiences particularly enjoyed it. This was partly because it toned down the violence of the property to secure a more accessible PG-13 rating.
It took almost 20 years to get a more accurate representation of Judge Dredd on screen. Even more, Dredd boasted a script from Ex Machina writer/director Alex Garland. Fans have been clamoring for a sequel to Dredd for years, and Mega City One could be exactly what they were hoping for, just in a TV show form. It isn't clear at this point whether the TV series is a sequel or a reboot, however. Either way, those hoping for a return to the supercity are looking forward to more news on the project.