I don’t know whether to be filled with terror, or to dance in glee. Or both.
A new Judge Dredd film really is happening. And while it’s still verrrrrry early in the process, everything I’ve heard so far is actually… pretty cool. We already posted the news that Karl Urban, one of my favorite actors who doesn’t get enough work, will be playing Dredd himself. Now we’ve got some casting news, a new title, and a general plot synopsis.
First, the title has been shortened to simply Dredd, which I like and which may well make it a little more marketable — it sounds a little less obscurely comic-booky, I suppose.
Second, casting. Olivia Thirlby has been cast as Judge Anderson, the rookie Judge who is mentored by Dredd. She’s also psychic (in a nod to Greek mythology, her first name is Cassandra). This is pretty intriguing casting — Thirlby’s been a bit of an indie darling who has yet to really break out, so this is an unusual, but awesome, choice for her. Here’s a shot Anderson and Dredd from the comics:
Finally, the plot:
DREDD takes us to the wild streets of Mega City One, the lone oasis of quasi-civilization on Cursed Earth. Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) is the most feared of elite Street Judges, with the power to enforce the law, sentence offenders and execute them on the spot - if necessary. The endlessly inventive mind of writer Alex Garland and the frenetic vision of director Peter Travis bring DREDD to life as a futuristic neo-noir action film that returns the celebrated character to the dark, visceral incarnation from John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s revered comic strip.
Pete Travis… eh. I’m neither thrilled nor pissed, but more… cautiously optimistic, as they say. Alex Garland is the heavy hitter here — a writer who has frequently worked with Danny Boyle, he also wrote the upcoming Never Let Me Go. He’s a hell of a writer, and an interesting choice for this.
And most importantly, the producers have explicitly stated that the helmet will not come off.
As it should be.