Judge Dredd Still Image

Dredd was an out-and-out flop when it hit theaters in 2012, but thanks to strong reviews and a solid home video performance it’s only gotten more popular as time has gone by. For years now fans have been calling for a sequel, and star Karl Urban has been more than happy to encourage that chatter. Still, when he mentioned recently that he wanted to make a Dredd 2, we chalked it up to wishful thinking. After all, he’s been saying as much for years and so far hasn’t had much to show for it.

But it looks like there might be a tiny bit more to his recent comments than we previously assumed. During an appearance at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, Urban teased that “conversations are happening” about bringing Dredd back, possibly as a streaming series. 

Let’s back up a bit. Here’s what Urban said a couple of weeks ago in response to a bit of fan art that imagined a Dredd sequel as a Netflix original series.

Urban has pushed hard for a Dredd sequel, encouraging fan petitions and offering periodic updates to his followers. Then a few days ago at Calgary, he let slip that he’d had “conversations” about possibly bringing Dredd back.

To be clear, this is not a confirmation that Dredd will ever return, in any form. In fact, this isn’t even the first time Urban has trotted out this line. Back in 2014 Urban told fans at a Star Trek convention that “conversations are taking place between the studio, the director, and writer Alex Garland” — and as you may have noticed, two years later we still don’t seem to be much closer to a Dredd sequel than we were then. Still, for fans eager to return to Mega-City One, it’s better than nothing, right?

The first Dredd “totally bombed,” in the words of its producer Adi Shankar. It cost $50 million to make and many millions more to market, but ultimately grossed just $30 million. As great as the movie is (and it is a lot of fun) it’s really no wonder the studio hasn’t been clamoring to make a sequel. But niche properties with small but passionate fanbases have been well served by Netflix and Amazon — heck, it’s hard to imagine something like the wonderfully weird Sense8 existing any other way. It’s way too early to celebrate the return of Dredd, but conversations with streaming services could be an encouraging step in the right direction.

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