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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

"Dredd on Trial: Exhibit A and B"

Yes, Judgement is coming. And the world is looking to judge "DREDD", the second live action adaptation of the famous UK science fiction comic series JUDGE DREDD. 

Will it be better than the much maligned Judge "I Am the Law" Dredd movie starring Sylvester Stallone? 
Already we have some evidence against the new guy

A) Budget
- Stallone Judge Dredd had a budget of 90 Million, allowing the production team to splurge on the massive Mega City One sprawl and prop designs, location shoots in the desert, everything to replicate the larger than life portrayal from the comics.
- Dredd 2012 has half that budget at only 45 million and promotional photos so far has shown the cast in tight clustrophobic corridors. Will we be seeing a more down to earth Judge Dredd remake? Will the hover cars, skyscrapers and wacky technology get traded out in exchange for a grittier, more realistic "our near dystopian future" type of setting?

B) The look 

Both actors look nothing like the comic book Judge Dredd as seen below

Stallone's costume seems to be closer to the comic book with its oversized shoulder pads, chain and large gauntlets. Not to mention Stallone's larger body frame. Except for the groin guard, I guess we have a winner eh?
BUT WAIT. This is only the more recent portrayal of Judge Dredd. Let us rewind to the earliest portrayal of Dredd as drawn by Carlos Ezquerra

Curious. No enlarged shoulder pads. Dredd is skinny as heck. The uniform looks like a contemporary Police uniform of the late70s with shoulder pads, shield, futuristic gauntlets and boots thrown on. Fast forward to today, and we have Karl Urban decked out in what seems like a SWAT armor. Very contemporary looking too.

As Dredd's comic book appearance has changed from artist to artist and from era to era, it is really difficult to put down a "de facto" Judge Dredd look. Same with Batman. 

So, although neither looks EXACTLY like the various portrayals in the comic...........Stallone looks like a superhero, Urban looks like an actual Cop. I guess preference is really up to the viewer.

Verdict: With the producers of the new Dredd film promising "District 9 Meets Dirty Harry", we are definitely seeing a less grand, less epic in scale, movie. However, until we see the actual film, Trial is adjourned until further evidence is presented.


  1. Dolph Lundgren should have been the new Dredd, he has the hight, jaw and would have filled that oversized helmet as well...

    1. True if they were going for a look that is closer to the comics. But i guess they went for a more "grounded in reality" feel hence why the Judge uniform is more like a special forces outfit than the huge metal shoulder pads and leather of the comics