Dredd Producer On Whether Streaming Is Creating New Opportunity For A Sequel

Dredd remains one of the more infamous cases of Hollywood's franchise reboot run of the 2010s. The reboot of Sylvester Stallone's lackluster Judge Dredd movie of the 1990s was supposed to be much more faithful to Dark Horse Comics' 2000 A.D. series, with fan-favorite actor Karl Urban playing the "authentic" take on Judge Dredd – down to never being seen without his helmet on. Dredd undoubtedly flopped at the box office ($41 million worldwide on an estimated $45 million budget), but afterward became a big cult-hit success through home video and TV airings. 

Fans of Dredd have been calling on a sequel to be made for years now – but the theatrical release model has been a non-starter. However, now that streaming services are becoming the new model for entertainment, could Dredd 2 finally be a feasible hope for fans? 

ComicBook Nation Podcast spoke with Dredd producer Adi Shankar (debuting his new superhero series Netflix's Guardians of Justice) about how possibilities for the sequel are shaping up in the new world order of the Streaming Wars... 

Adi Shankar first and foremost made it clear to Dredd fans that "Look, I don't own [or] control the rights to Dredd. So if you're asking about me and the next project that I do? I don't control the rights there." 

At the same time, the filmmaker/producer did offer a view on what new possibilities could be out there for fans: 

"On a macro level: As much as the streaming thing felt like the Wild, Wild West for a long time... It's getting more formalized and more streamlined today...There's also just more content out there, and more opportunities to make things because there's more need for content. And that's just created a new paradigm."

When asked specifically if this new streaming paradigm could help resurrect something like the Dredd franchise, Shankar said "Yeah. The answer is: absolutely." 

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One reason that many involved with Dredd (Karl Urban, Shankar, other cast and crew) pointed to as its downfall was the cost and misconception of the marketing campaign that Lionsgate pictures launched. In fact, Urban was candid about it in a 2016 interview: 

"Alex Garland has gone on record to say that Dredd was a Failure. I disagree. The movie itself was not a failure, in fact, it was a critical success, it just failed to perform at the box office," Urban explained to DoG. "How does a movie with a 78% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes fail? Through zero audience awareness. Nobody knew the movie was being released. Dredd represents a failure in marketing, not filmmaking."

MORE: Karl Urban Gives Dredd 2 Update

Shankar says that one upside of streaming algorithms and data collection is that is doing away with costly and often inane processes of marketing, that have killed many fledging film franchises like Dredd. 

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At this point, it seems like few fires are still burning for Dredd. Karl Urban is now the face of Amazon's hit franchise The Boys (another comic adaptation); Shankar is far from involved, and the infamous story of director Peter Travis clashing with writer (and eventual co-director) Alex Garland leaves a big hole when it comes to directorial enthusiasm for a sequel. 

In the end, Dredd is likely a dark gem that a lot of fans will just continue to enjoy, while forever imagining what could've been. But you never know... that Dredd TV series is still on the table, technically...