Karl Urban is still eager to reprise the role of Dredd for the forthcoming Judge Dredd: Mega-City One TV series. Judge Dredd is a cop in the post-apocalyptic future and polices the crime polluted metropolis of Mega-City One. The character hails from the pages of British comic 2000 AD, and Dredd has become a beloved cult figure. Sadly, he hasn’t had much luck trying to crack the big screen.
The first attempt was the 1995 Sylvester Stallone vehicle Judge Dredd, which like many comic book movies of the era was a campy mess. While the movie has impressive production design and action, the story was clichéd, and it botched the title character, turning him into a bog standard action hero. Faring much better was 2012 reboot Dredd, which retained the character's gritty edge and was a solid action movie. While Dredd has a big cult following now, it bombed in cinemas, and a vocal fan campaign for a sequel eventually came to nothing.
Now a TV series set in the world of 2000 AD called Judge Dredd: Mega-City One is being developed, and Judge Dredd is set to be a major character. Karl Urban received strong reviews for his central performance in Dredd, and fans are hoping he’ll come back for the show. In a new interview with JoBlo, Urban revealed he wants to come back too, and he’s had discussions with the producers.
In fact, there’s so much interest in that particular character and I would dearly love to have the opportunity to get in there and play that again. There are so many wonderful stories in the 2000 A.D./Judge Dredd canon that we’d be remiss not to have the opportunity to tell them. If it were up to me personally we would have been making Dredd 2 two years ago.
The rights holders [Producer Brian Jenkins and Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley ] are in their process of developing their show called Mega-City One and we’ve had many discussions and the ball’s in their court. Hopefully, they get it together and are able to deliver more of what the audience wants and it would certainly be a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of it.
The Dredd comic has been running in 2000 AD for over 40-years now, and part of the reason is the variety of stories he’s gotten himself into. The comic can be a pulpy adventure, a bleak drama, a wacky comedy and so on. The world of Mega-City One lends itself to near limitless storytelling possibilities, and while Dredd is said to be an important character on the show, he won't be the sole focus.
While Judge Dredd is easily the most famous character from 2000 AD, the comic has lots of other great stories and characters like Rogue Trooper and Slaine. Unfortunately, they're relatively obscure outside of the U.K., but if Judge Dredd: Mega-City One does well, that could open the door for other adaptations from the comic too.