Recently we got some long-awaited insight into the Dredd spin-off series known as Mega-City One straight out of Trekondaga, via TrekMovie. Dredd was the 2012 cinematic remake to the comic book adaptation in which Sylvester Stallone delivered a far cry from the source material. Not only was this new version worthy of the name, but it was a lot of fun with memorable portrayals, and now iconic set and costume designs that left everyone who watched it wanting more. Fueled by bombastic violence, excellent special effects, and drenched in self-satire and deadpan humor, we followed a pair of cops known as “judges” who hold all law in their hands while serving the vast and violent dystopian metropolis known as Mega-City One. In the city that consists of a large majority of the east coast, ultra-violent criminals control the streets, Dredd and his assigned rookie attempt to breach a stronghold to retrieve a bounty by any means necessary. However, despite being praised by fans and critics alike, the film failed to make enough of a splash at the box office for Lionsgate to warrant a sequel.
Going six years on, we did get confirmation earlier this year at SDCC that the previously announced series titled Mega-City One, from 2000 AD comics and Judge Dredd owners Rebellion, that the pilot script and first two years worth of plot had been completed courtesy of Dredd and 2000 veteran writer Rob Williams and several other writers.
Rebellion creative director and CEO Jason Kingsley who will act as executive producer on the show, with Brian Jenkins as series producer, gave additional comments on the show with Jenkins stating, “It’s been really exciting to be working with Rob on the pilot, we have a really talented team here at Rebellion Productions and I’m really proud of them. Jason and I have been busy looking at locations and laying out season one as we gear up, to move forward into pre-production.” Kingsley added, “I’ve read the pilot script by Rob and the team, and got that same thrill I did when I first discovered Judge Dredd. As we drive this project forward I’m always surprised by how much effort goes on behind-the-scenes to bring something like Mega-City One to the screen. I’m very pleased with how the whole project is coming together and looking forward to more exciting announcements in the coming months.”
Additional notes from SDCC were that despite the title, Dredd will not be the sole focus on the show, which will instead be an ensemble drama, and that a name familiar to Dredd fans is attached to both. With many wanting Karl Urban to renew his role, and his repeated expressed interest in the role, most assumed that Urban was the familiar name being attached, but at Trekondaga, Urban decided to weigh in on the development of the project with the following statements.
“I’m not attached to it, although I did have a preliminary round of conversations with them. I am interested in doing it. There are a lot of great stories to tell there. It is up to them. I don’t know really where they are in the stages of development. If I get the opportunity, great, otherwise some else will do it, and we can all see some more Judge Dredd. I did read the comics when I was a kid, as I teenager I read Judge Dredd a lot. Their idea for Mega-City One is was basically to build the show around more rookie judges and young, new judges and Dredd would come in and out and I said that I’ll do it, but it has to be done in a meaningful way. I can’t just come on and grunt and pull faces, there has to be a story there for him. There has to be a kind of little arc and a story we are trying to tell. So, we will see what they do.”
With Urban reasserting what Hollywood Reporter was told at SDCC earlier this year, that may not be the Judge Dredd TV series most were hoping for, but it does promise potential and seeing Urban show up in some sort of way would be a definite draw. One thing we can’t help but to take note of is that if Urban claims he’s not attached yet, but there is a confirmed familiar name, who would that be? Now it could be that Rebellion reps misspoke, it could be that Karl read the situation wrong, but it could also be someone entirely different being mentioned, and that’s far more likely to be the case. While the name could be anyone within the production, I doubt that Rebellion would aim to make a point of it unless the name was significant. Our guess? Its the biggest surprise and still the most overlooked aspect of the entire 2012 film. Dredd’s rookie partner at the time Cassandra, played by Olivia Therby, a powerful character with psychic abilities, who won Dredd over as much as she did fans on the other side of the screen. This would certainly solidify the series draw, and make the lessened focus on Urban’s Dredd more acceptable as many had hope for her character to be further explored in a sequel. Cassandra also holds strong within the comics and could be seen in a higher position going forward, as well as, provide the connection and overlapping arc that Urban Desires. As of right now, Mega-City One is being shopped around to a number of networks, including Netflix and Amazon Prime. Urban would certainly be a reason for these networks to take an interest, so if anyone at Rebellion or IM Global happens to read this, and have yet to make this decision, it may be one worth looking at.
What are your thoughts on what we know so far? What are your hopes and expectations? Be sure to sound off in the comments, and we will discuss.
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