The Law Isn’t Done Yet: ‘Dredd’ Fans Rally For Sequel On Reddit
In the vast cosmos of cinematic cult classics, 2012’s ‘Dredd’ has carved out an undeniable niche. Despite a lukewarm initial reception at the box office, the film has since cultivated a fervent following, entranced by its unflinching portrayal of the iconic comic book character, Judge Dredd. Over a decade later, the clamor for a sequel reverberates louder than ever, finding a rallying point in the digital expanses of Reddit.
A recent thread on the platform has ignited new enthusiasm for a sequel.
As the initial post in the thread articulates, ‘Dredd’ was a tightly paced, grim-dark action movie that delivered on all fronts. The fan noted the “solid writing, the great action, and the impressive music and effects,” all accomplished on a shoestring budget.
This sentiment resonates with many who view ‘Dredd’ as a criminally underappreciated gem, a film that could have potentially given birth to a franchise as successful as John Wick, if not sabotaged by the studios.
Another fan chimed in, stating their appreciation for the film despite the lack of a sequel. They shared their connection with the film, having grown up not on Marvel comics, but on 2000 AD comics, the original home of Judge Dredd.
They praised the meticulous planning of the film, which allowed it to look visually stunning despite its relatively low budget. The fan also mentioned the shelving of a planned series, expressing disappointment at the missed opportunity.
The discussion also touched on the film’s commercial performance. One comment highlighted the film’s disappointing domestic gross, attributing some of the blame to the decision to market it as ‘DREDD 3D’. However, they noted that the film’s 3D effects were far superior to many others released in the post-Avatar era.
Yet another fan applauded the script’s pivotal role, crafted by Alex Garland, John Wagner, and Carlos Ezquerra. They noted upon rewatching the film, the recognition of these names explained why ‘Dredd’ was such a faithful and compelling adaptation of the source material.
Reflecting on the passion expressed in the Reddit thread, I find myself agreeing with many of the points raised and I’d like to share my perspective.
The factors contributing to ‘Dredd’s’ box office underperformance are multifaceted. One cannot discount the lack of interest primarily due to the character’s previous portrayal in the Stallone movie, which for many American audiences was their only point of reference for Judge Dredd.
The decision to market the movie as ‘Dredd 3D’ and to have a 3D-only release likely further dampened its appeal. However, it’s crucial to note that this is the same studio and marketing team that later successfully launched the ‘John Wick’ franchise, demonstrating that the ‘Dredd’ situation was more complex than just poor marketing.
‘Dredd’ was not a Hollywood production. The Indian company Reliance, along with UK companies DNA Films and IM Global, were behind it. Penetrating the American market is a herculean task for any movie produced outside Hollywood, particularly those made outside the US. It requires a significant marketing budget, and unfortunately, ‘Dredd’ lacked this crucial ammunition.
Many phenomenal British films never reach American audiences due to insufficient marketing budgets, regardless of their quality. The few that do garner attention often do so through Oscar nominations. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that ‘Dredd’ did not spawn sequels or a franchise given its box office returns. The film’s fanbase is indeed cult-like, which seems fitting, although the frequency of rewatching varies among fans.
When complaints arise about the lack of original films, it’s worth reminding people to actively seek out quality cinema instead of relying on what Hollywood heavily markets. There are countless excellent original films out there waiting to be discovered.
Also, the financials paint a clear picture. ‘Dredd’ made $41 million worldwide on a $50 million budget. Comparatively, ‘The Raid’ and ‘The Raid 2’, films often referenced in relation to ‘Dredd’, made $9 million and $6.5 million worldwide on budgets of $1 million and $4.5 million respectively. These figures speak volumes about the financial challenges of producing a ‘Dredd’ sequel.