Karl Urban Confimed for a Hard R-Rated 'Judge Dredd' Movie

August 14, 2010
Source: Empire

Karl Urban / Judge Dredd

We first heard the solid rumor during Comic-Con that Karl Urban (Star Trek, Lord of the Rings) might be delivering justice as Judge Dredd, a law enforcement officer of the future given power to act as judge, jury and executioner, in a new take on the sci-fi comic book character. At the Con, outlets like Collider and Film School Rejects heard straight from Urban that he had been offered the role and they were working towards making it official. Well, now Empire has double confirmed his casting and got new details from producers Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich, who revealed that this will be a very gritty, hard R-rated adaptation.

As if casting Urban in a high profile lead role like this wasn't enough good news, Macdonald and Reich know the film needs to be completely unlike the disastrous adaptation with Sylvester Stallone from the 90s. Here's what Macdonald has to say about their fresh new take on the comic this time:

"The main thing about Dredd is that it's a fantastic comic that was completely messed up 20 years ago. Our idea is to make a very hard, R-rated, gritty, realistic movie of Dredd in Megacity, so we've got to get the tone right. He's not going to take off his helmet. His bike is going to feel real. He's going to hit people and it's going to feel real. There's been a change in comic-book movies; they were treated unseriously and now they're treated seriously. We've cast a guy called Karl Urban to play Dredd. We'll be shooting in Johannesburg, it's being directed by Pete Travis, we're shooting with the people who did 'District 9' – and if we get it right, Alex [Garland] has a couple of ideas for other stories as well. It's not based on any one comic, and [creator] John Wagner is involved in every decision."

Sounds like this is the Judge Dredd adaptation every loyal fan has wanted to see for decades. And if the crew behind District 9 can bring the same amount of realism to this project then I think we'll be in for a very cool sci-fi treat. Interestingly enough, Macdonald's take on comic book movies move into a respectable limelight also parallels the path of comic books themselves to being taken seriously as art and literature. The fact that comic books and their adaptations are treated with so much respect and loved by audiences is really quite an achievement and I'm glad Judge Dredd is the newest project on the path towards more quality adaptations.

Find more posts: Casting, Movie News, Opinions



great call as the harder the better. urban was excellent in 'out of the blue'- playing a cop looking for a mass murderer. sounds like this could get a decent look

dealers wheel on Aug 14, 2010


Oh great. An R-rated Judge Dredd - I'm seriously expecting this movie to be a total suck-fest now.

Julie on Aug 14, 2010


Judge Dredd ... Meh ...

Hattori Hanzo on Aug 14, 2010


whats wrong with hard R rated? u guys want rated g? judge D is the shiz an this can only mean good news , u want bad news check the terminater direction

o Toxin o on Aug 14, 2010



Xerxex on Aug 14, 2010


The quote about the creator of the comic being involved in every decision made me extremely happy. This is how all comic book movies should be made and I think that will only help this movie be amazing. Not to mention Urban and the District-9 team. This is shaping up to be pretty good just from words alone.

Dan W on Aug 14, 2010


please get stallone a cameo.

filmfan111 on Aug 14, 2010


Before you lot cream in your pants in anticipation (pardon the imagery!) you do know the main villain in the screenplay is called MA-MA. Yes, you read that right. What a crap name for the main villain. And you do know Garland's screenplay is just a Die Hard rip-off set in a Mega-City 1 block? Yes, you read that right. It's totally unoriginal and cynically written. This is NOT the way to do a Dredd film. Go read the leaked screenplay and judge for yourselves. You can Google it and find the download link.

Dreddhead on Aug 14, 2010


"Sounds like this is the Judge Dredd adaptation every loyal fan has wanted to see for decades. " I've been reading Dredd for over 20 years, Die Hard in a MC-1 block is not the Dredd adaptation I've wanted to see. Please don't make ignorant assumptions. If you bother to read the leaked screenplay you will know the story has No satire No crazy humour No crazy crimes or perps Is totally generic in plot Is a rip of Die Hard and The Matrix bullet time Has a lame main villain - a hooker called Ma-Ma. Yes, the big villain is a retired sex worker. Wow, such imagination from Garland. Not. Flat inspired end. Please stop getting carried away with the hype of a new Dredd film. The screenplay is poor, unoriginal. Please read it and you can see for yourselves. Don't assume stuff without reading it, okay? It makes you sound ignorant. No offence meant.

Dreddhead on Aug 14, 2010


Uninspired end, I mean.

Dreddhead on Aug 14, 2010


Dreddhead the script will change they always change, chill.

Xerxex on Aug 14, 2010


DOUBLE WHAMMY version 2.0. HARD R rated....iz gonna be tripple wammy...

dredd on Aug 14, 2010


Sounds like a good movie to me!

Jimmy Love on Aug 15, 2010


what is your problem Dreddhead?? Ive seen you spouting the same negative drivel on other websites. Let the film take its course and then we can all judge it for ourselves. We don't need some over opiniated know it all telling us what to think. Oh and I read your idea for an alternative ending, about Dredd jumping on a surf board and chasing the baddies through MC1. What a load of tosh! you want to make the film look silly do that! I think you are a frustrated no-body with nothing better to do than slag very talented writers (Garland & Wagner) off, thinking you could do better without actually doing anything remotely interesting yourself.

jon on Aug 15, 2010


read the "script"...found it decent.

dredd on Aug 15, 2010


The script is actually very solid in it's tone and the slo-mo drug is a great little hook. Also for a comic movie it actually doesn't bother with any orgin story which is very very refreshing. I think this one will be interesting if it stays true to the tone of the script.

Pat on Aug 15, 2010


can we have judge Death, mortis , fear and fire in it please

PaulT on Aug 16, 2010


this is going to, the other judges will be in the sequeal...but they might make a cameo hehehe

tivdatsun on Aug 16, 2010


Lets just hope Dredd dos'nt take his helmet off this time and lets really hope he dos'nt come out with stupid catch phrases.

saychel on Aug 16, 2010


I think this sounds very cool. I have never read Judge Dredd, and to be honest I liked the Stalone movie in a cheesy way ( I also like Demolition Man but that was twenty years ago). So since I have nothing to compare this to, I will say that I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Eric on Aug 16, 2010


think putting the Dark Judges might be too early for the first movie. I thought the first movie had amazing FX. Block war, Cursed earth, etc.

dasddd on Aug 16, 2010


"The script is actually very solid in it's tone and the slo-mo drug is a great little hook." Except it was done in the Matrix in 1999. So what's so great about that hook? Why do Dredd Hard when Dredd can give the movie world so much more? This is what I don't get. And I will continue to rant on until the producers change this crappy screenplay or it gets made as it is and I refuse to see it! It needs a better storyline, it's that simple. Garland is a hack, sorry to be unkind but he is. The story is too unoriginal for something as rich as Dredd. Just adapt an old 2000AD Dredd story like Mega-Rackets, Hunters Club, Graveyard Shift. It's so obvious that's the way to do a Dredd film. And let John Wagner - the writer of Dredd for over 30 years - write the screenplay. Again, so obvious. Why don't the producers ever get this??????? The same mistakes are repeated again and again. This happened back in 1994 when Cinergi were making Stallone's Dredd and it's happening again in 2010 with DNA Films' Dredd film. They come up with a poor storyline and the film ends up not being a proper Dredd film. To be a Dredd fan is to see the property screwed yet again. I accept this although it's a bitter pill to swallow.

dreddhead on Aug 16, 2010


"I think you are a frustrated no-body with nothing better to do than slag very talented writers (Garland & Wagner) off, thinking you could do better without actually doing anything remotely interesting yourself." Really? I've written two Dredd screenplay that are FAR more FAITHFUL than Garland's Die Hard rip-off. Hand on heart, I've written them. You couldn't make my two screenplays for 40 million bucks, the screenplays are intended for high budget but the point isn't the budget, it's do with coming up with something faithful and not ripping off old action films like Die Hard or Matrix's Bullet Time. Oh, and my idea of Dredd giving chase at the end of the story would work. The entire story is set in Peach Tree Block. It makes sense to expand the action away from the block so we - the viewers - can see MEGA-CITY 1. You know, that city that is kind of mega. Something Mr Garland has forgotten about. (rolling my eyes). His vision of Mega-City 1 is having the story set in one block. Wow - what imagination this guy has. Not. Anyway, I've said what I wanted to say. I'm off to walk my cat. 🙂

dreddhead on Aug 16, 2010


So sick of people reading leaked scripts and flipping out. Chill people. We are still at least a year and a half away from this film. So much can change. Just caaaalm down.

HealthyPoison on Aug 16, 2010


Karl Urban as Dredd? Fuck yes sign me up twice!

Breach on Aug 17, 2010


dreddhead all you do is post bullshit about an unmade movie on the internet. Are you mentally retarded? Do you have a life? Why don't you go and get laid - Write that in your script.

sepa on Aug 20, 2010


I cant remember too much of him in bourne, but I already liked the idea of urban as dredd. just watched doom (which I actually enjoyed) and I'm even more happy about it

Ross on Aug 29, 2010

28 other real characters in it.No robots,aliens or general mega city weirdness.they seem to be relying on dark and violent in a dark knight kind of way.didn't like the end.....thats if this is the real screenplay.

Jonwar69 on Mar 13, 2011


Karl Urban must say the following lines in Dredd: “I am the law!” “I knew you’d say that.” (in five scenes) “I knew they’d do that.” “Full auto. Rapid-fire.” “Armour piercing” “Double whammy.” “Signal flare!” I look forward to seeing the following villains in future sequels: Angel Gang, Mean Machine Angel, President Booth, Oola Blint, Judge Cal, Dark Judges, Judge Death, Rico Dredd, Armon Gill, Judge Grice, Morton Judd, Kleggs, Judge Kraken, Stan Lee, PJ Maybe, Nero Narcos, Sov Judge Orlok, Shojun the Warlord, Judge Sinfield I hope in this film series, they will include the following Judges: Beeny, Buell, Galen DeMarco, Dirty Frank, Edgar, Fargo, Francisco, Giant, Goodman, Griffin, Hershey, Janus, Karyn, McGruder, Mechanismo, Niles, Rico, Shenker, Silver, Solomon, Volt I hope in this film series, they will include: Chopper, Vienna Dredd, Fergee, Yassa Povey, Jacob Sardini, Otto Sump, Walter the Wobot I hope one of the following recognisable actors with comedic experience plays Fergee: Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Ricky Gervais, Simon Pegg, Eddie Izzard, Steve Coogan, Jeremy Piven, Paul Rudd As Judge Dredd, Karl Urban should be a hardcore badass like Liam Neeson in Taken.

Duchess of Cambridge on May 3, 2011

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