Pete Travis’ 2012 film Dredd was one of the better action movies in recent memory – which makes it all the more disappointing that it didn’t do very well at the U.S. box office. Karl Urban donned the visor previously worn by Sylvester Stallone and began doling out justice with extreme prejudice when he and his partner were trapped in a futuristic high-rise filled with criminals.
It’s easy to Monday-morning quarterback the reasons that Dredd didn’t hit with audiences – it had to overcome both the reputation of the Stallone film (which wasn’t particularly good) and the fact that the lead character isn’t all that well-known in America. It also had the unfortunate luck of telling a tale of a cop stuck in a huge building full of criminals not long after Gareth Evans’ The Raid had taken the world by storm with a very similar plot. All of these hurdles helped ensure Dredd would flounder at the box office, and it seems unlikely that we’ll be getting a Dredd sequel soon – at least on the big screen anyway.
Die-hard Dredd-heads can get the sequel they’ve been clamoring for next month, when the U.K.’s 2000 AD will release Dredd: Underbelly – the official sequel to the film – in comic format here in America.
Editor Matt Smith says the release is designed to “capitalize on the increased awareness of the character in the U.S. following the Karl Urban movie,” and is aimed squarely at the fans of that film.
“We've noted a real swell of U.S. interest in Dredd off the back of the film. This first foray for 2000 AD in producing a U.S.-format book, geared specifically to the [comic book] direct market, and aimed at satisfying those demanding a sequel, is a stumm gas grenade-style lob across the Atlantic to show that you don't have to camp outside your local multiplex to get your next fix of Mega-City One -- the Judge will carry on enforcing the Law through the pages of the comic. Arthur and Henry [creators Arthur Wyatt and Henry Flint] have created a terrific story, and a powerful follow-up to the film - Dredd fans won't be disappointed."
While it’s not the cinematic sequel I was hoping for, there’s certainly the potential for a good follow-up to jump formats into the world of comics. Joss Whedon’s Buffy and Angel have lived on after their TV series ended in the pages of monthly comics, as have countless other high-profile properties. The advantage Dredd has is that it started life in this format – so there’s already a blueprint in place.
Fans will be able to follow the Judge’s newest adventure when it hits retailers next month. If you’re not lucky enough to have a comic shop near you, don’t fret – Dredd: Underbelly will also be available through digital distribution on tablets as well.
What other franchises would you like to see continue on in comic format? Post your wish list below.
MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB: