In the future, Judge Dredd’s Mega-City One will become a reality — on television, at least.
IM Global and U.K. games developer and publisher Rebellion are teaming to bring the iconic British character’s world to life in a new live-action series. The project, announced via Entertainment Weekly, is in early development, with actors and specific characters to be announced in the future.
What is known is that Judge Dredd: Mega City One will star Dredd and other Judges — uniformed law-enforcement officials with the designated power to be the judge, jury and executioner — all set within the fictional megalopolis of Mega-City One, aka the post-apocalyptic East Coast of the United States of America.
Though not explicitly tied to the cult-hit Dredd film, which arrived in theaters in 2012 and starred Karl Urban in the square-jawed title role, a statement from Rebellion’s Jason and Chris Kingsley indicates the ongoing fan campaign to further explore the world set out in the movie played a part in making the show a reality. “Thanks to the legions of fans who have kept up pressure on social media, and a lot of background work and enthusiasm,” the pair stated, “we aim to make a big budget production that will satisfy both our vast comics audience and the even greater general screen-watching public.”
Urban has expressed interest in returning to the role, be it for another film or a television series, as recently as last year. In May 2016, the actor went so far as to tell fan “conversations are happening” regarding his and the character’s Mega-City One return, a comment that will no doubt fuel speculation as to whether he’s attached to this deal or not. “I’m amenable to being part of a legitimate and worthy followup to that film,” Urban added later in the year. “I’m open to looking at any sort of limited exploration of that and in any medium,” Urban added, saying he “wouldn’t be opposed” to a streaming series on Netflix or Amazon.
That the series’ development is official, albeit one without an announced network or streaming service yet attached, will likely be plenty of salve for fans who have long believed the project was dead in the water. Even Dredd‘s producer Adi Shankar said in 2015 that because of the film’s poor box-office performance — it grossed $41.5 million worldwide, falling short of its production budget — someone of Dwayne Johnson’s caliber would have to sign on for a sequel to secure financing.
Prior to the Urban-led Dredd, the character was portrayed by Sylvester Stallone in the ill-fated Judge Dredd, a movie lambasted by fans of the character and avoided by the moviegoing public. While both were box office failures, Urban’s incarnation has gone on to generate and increasing number of fans thanks in large part to his portrayal of the granite-jawed, no-nonsense Judge, and Alex Garland’s script which brought the character’s comic book world to frighteningly accurate life.