British comic character to battle perps on the small screen -- though no network is attached just yet
Judge Dredd may soon be coming to the small screen.
Entertainment Weekly can exclusively reveal that independent entertainment studio IM Global and independent U.K. games developer and publisher Rebellion have struck a deal to turn the iconic comic book character into a live-action TV show called Judge Dredd: Mega City One. The potential show is set in a future where the East Coast of the U.S. has become a crowded and crime-ridden megalopolis. The plan is to make the series an ensemble drama about a team of Judges — futuristic cops invested with the power to be judge, jury, and executioner — as they deal with the challenges the future-shocked 22nd century throws at them.
The character of Dredd — who is known for his incorruptibility, harsh attitude towards law-breaking “perps,” and upper face-concealing helmet — was created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra in 1977 and first appeared in the British science fiction anthology comic 2000 AD, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Judge Dredd has twice been adapted for the big screen. Sylvester Stallone played the titular character in 1995’s Judge Dredd, while Karl Urban portrayed the role in 2012’s Dredd. Although the latter was a box office disappointment, the Alex Garland-scripted film has garnered a substantial cult following of fans thanks in large part to its faithful representation of the original material. While the show is still in the early stages of development, and no talent or network affiliation has yet been announced, Wednesday’s news will be music to the ears of many who were left wanting more onscreen Dredd after the release of the 2012 film.
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Attached as executive producers of the new show are IM Global Television president Mark Stern, who developed Battlestar Galactica, Helix, and Defiance at Syfy; IM Global Television CEO Stuart Ford; and the owners of Rebellion, Jason and Chris Kingsley, who along with Ford were also executive producers of the 2012 Dredd film.
“This is one of those seminal sci-fi properties that seems to only become and more relevant with age,” said Stern in a statement. “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 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 said. “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.”
You can see a poster for the project below.