You have to admit that while Judge Dredd has been an immensely successful comic franchise for forty years the series of tales has never taken off on the big screen. Don’t get me started on the 1995 Sylvester Stallone shlockfest (Joe Dredd’s face has never been revealed in the entire history of the comic and then twenty minutes into the film Sly’s running around sans helmet?!?!?!) which could have buried a lesser property. Then there was 2012’s much better, though criminally underappreciated, Keith Urban led Dredd which just failed to connect with ticket buyers. Thankfully, we might get yet another shot at seeing the Mega-City One universe step outside the comic page.
Entertainment Weekly is reporting a television series is in development by way of independent studio IM Global Television and UK game company Rebellion. It isn’t as if the two companies are heaviest hitters in the entertainment industry but it’s nice to hear at least someone is looking to tackle John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s creation again. A television project with a working title of Judge Dredd: Mega City One is underway. The show would focus on a group of Judges, opposed to simply Dredd himself, as they struggle with fighting crime in a vastly overpopulated 22nd century megalopolis. No network (or streaming service) has been attached to the series yet, and plenty of projects in development never see the light of day, I hope we get to see it come to fruition with the same sorts of topical social satire and dark humor which has made Judge Dredd a must read for decades.
Regarding the series, IM Global Television president Mark Stern (developer on Battlestar Galactica, Helix, and Defiance for SyFy) said in a statement, “This is one of those seminal sci-fi properties that seems to only become and more relevant with age. Not only is it a rich world with biting social commentary, but it’s also fun as hell! As a fan of the comics and both films, it’s a dream come true to be able to work with Jason and Chris (Rebellion owners Jason and Chris Kingsley) in adapting this for television.”
“We’re very excited to be beginning the journey to get more of Judge Dredd’s Mega-City One on the television screen,” said Jason and Chris Kingsley. “Thanks to the legions of fans who have kept up pressure on social media, and a lot of background work and enthusiasm, we aim to make a big budget production that will satisfy both our vast comics audience and the even greater general screen-watching public.”