Judge Dredd Fan Film Might Hit Every Mark Stallone Missed

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Judge Dredd Fan Film Might Hit Every Mark Stallone Missed

We talked to the director of the upcoming Judge Minty and get the inside scoop on what sounds like an epic fan film.

Fans of Judge Dredd generally try to forget the 1995 movie starring Sylvester Stallone for a number of reasons, the highlights being a terrible plot, clunky acting, and generally un-Dredd-like behavior from the film's main character. For me, the movie falls under the "so bad it's good" category, but a lot of die-hard fans of the comic really loathe it. While a new Dredd film starring Karl Urban is currently in the works, a recently-released teaser trailer for a fan film set in the same comic universe is gaining a lot of attention because it looks so good.

The film, Judge Minty, is set within the Dredd universe, but doesn't actually star everyone's favorite Street Judge from Mega-City One. Instead, according to the summary on the movie's website, it tells the story of Judge Minty, a lesser-known character from the comics:

"The film will be based on Judge Minty, a character created by John Wagner and Mick McMahon. An aging Judge who is forced to 'retire' from the streets, mainly it seems because he has become too compassionate.

"He chooses to take 'The Long Walk' into the Cursed Earth, there 'to take law to the lawless'. The film will be based around his first experiences in the radioactive wastes."

Steven Sterlacchini, Judge Minty's director, took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to The Escapist about his movie. He explained that Minty was chosen as the starring character because, "I've always loved the character. His story stood out at the time because it showed a Judge with feelings. I think the main reason [I like him so much] is that a number of issues are touched upon in Minty's story, which will be mirrored in Judge Dredd's life much later on: namely doubts about the 'justice' system and 'The Long Walk.' It's also interesting to see the contrast between the tough Clint Eastwood style of Dredd (at the time) and the more Henry Fonda style of Minty."

Fans of Judge Dredd himself are also in for a treat: A young Joe Dredd will make an appearance in the film, played by comic artist Greg Staples.

The movie began production in 2008, and principal filming started last December. According to Sterlacchini, he's hoping to have the final 20-minute film ready for release (and, thus, convention appearances) by the end of this year or, "early 2011."

That said, the trailer looks great in spite of the fact that it's largely composed of "unfinished" (meaning it hasn't been properly graded with the correct effects, CGI, or cuts) footage. I asked Sterlacchini about how he was able to achieve such a high-quality look when this is a self-funded, non-profit project. "The high standards are achieved because many of the key team members are professionals giving their time for free," he said. "We can't really have 'investors', because there would be no direct financial return for their money. 'Supporters' would - of course - be very welcome.

"We're all 2000 A.D. fans and it's a real team effort. Daniel Carey-George has created the props and costumes, Stephen Green has produced all the digital imagery and effects (as well as filming the live footage), Barry Renshaw has illustrated the story boards and numerous concept boards, and Michael Carroll has worked with me on adapting the John Wagner story to the screen. We've all had creative input in the story and direction of the project.

"[I can't forget to mention] Edmund Dehn, who is perfect for the main roll of Judge Minty and has agreed to play the part at a reduced rate, as long as we can fit around his numerous other acting commitments. His presence on set has helped everyone raise their game to match his performance."

Sterlacchini even admitted to liking some parts of the 1995 movie, mainly tied to production work like the CGI for the city blocks, the ABC Warrior that Rico used, and Mean Angel's character design. Not only that, but, "Steve Green has even given a nod to the 'Hall of Justice' from the Stallone film in our project."

When asked about the upcoming Dredd movie, Sterlacchini was pretty enthusiastic, too. "As fans," he said, "we're all looking forward to the new official Dredd film. I think the fact that Judge Minty is likely to be a more direct comic book translation that focuses on a minor character instead of Dredd - and is mainly set in an alternative location - will allow us to produce something different.

"So hopefully we won't be completely overshadowed by what promises to be an excellent official film. Hopefully the increased Dredd interest will help us, and perhaps in our own little way we can add to that interest."

Based on Sterlacchini's responses, it feels like Judge Minty is meant to be both a film and a love letter to a subject that its production crew adores. Even though the imagery in the trailer isn't finished work, it looks great, and I personally can't wait to see the final product.

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See, why can't Hollywood understand the idea of the fan-film? Then we wouldn't have to put up with the tripe they try to force-feed us. I'd hunt this film down like the Angel Gang if it were up around here.

This looks like an interesting project. I also have to wonder if perhaps some day Hollywood might start receiving competition from people like this.

I'm just amazed by how good this looks. The quality is exquisite! How did a bunch of comic book fans make something that looks so professionally done? I'd love to see this whenever it comes out because this looks like something that a group a dedicated fans put all their love, blood, sweat, and tears into. Hollywood now looks like crap compared to the effort put into this. Well done!

This is really neat! I'm excited to see the finished product when it's completed.

That does look spot on, I like the fact that the location on the camera is Rowdy Yates block

I have to say I'm looking forward to this. My first (and only) introduction with Judge Dredd was that horrible movie, so I just assumed that the whole franchise was pretty crappy. But by the looks of this, I guess Hollywood just massively cocked it up. I cant wait to see where the series goes in the right hands.

Christ, Carl Urban is playing Dredd in the new Hollywood version? Those arseholes will never learn! The only guy that should play Dredd is Ron Perlman, he certainly has the CHIN for it...

Wait, 3 years for a 20-minute film?

Mr.Tea:
Wait, 3 years for a 20-minute film?

2, actually. December 2008-present. Not terrible considering that it's pretty high-quality and it's being made on a volunteer-like schedule.

vansau:

Mr.Tea:
Wait, 3 years for a 20-minute film?

2, actually. December 2008-present. Not terrible considering that it's pretty high-quality and it's being made on a volunteer-like schedule.

Yeah, I imagine its more like "Hey, we've got some stuff ready! lets all get together and make another scene or two."

Now this looks interesting. I remember the original Judge Dredd film with Stallone, and I recall not minding it too much. Though this fan-made movie does indeed seem pretty hardcore ^~^!

"Judge Minty" is an exceptionally un-threatening name for an arbiter of justice. Just saying.

My metaphorical hat's off to them. Looking forward to the movie, even.

Gotta say its a bit to digital but if polished i'd tolerate it. But as of now I couldn't take the whole green screened look.

Looks spot on but I did enjoy the Stallone movie, just saying.

vansau:

Mr.Tea:
Wait, 3 years for a 20-minute film?

2, actually. December 2008-present. Not terrible considering that it's pretty high-quality and it's being made on a volunteer-like schedule.

Also without the budgets, the large amount of crews, or anything else that Hollywood can pump into there movies.

F'ing. A.

Guys, don't get too excited (almost wrote sexcited lol). Looking forward to this

Hmm, not enough LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Now this does look intresting, and i do like the concept. This is what I like about Indie films, they always think so much more about the idea behind the fim, rather than just the Special Effects

Alright, I'm gonna be honest here: I know nothing of the Judge Dredd-related universe. I've heard the guy's name before. That's the absolute boundary of my knowledge.

That being said... Judge Minty? Seriously?

ok... as a brit who grew up reading Dredd, the stallone movie was a perversion of the books character and screwed with everything good about the books. If not for dredd and 2000ad the comic he featured in american comics might not have had alan moore, garth ennis, mark millar, neil gaiman.... seriously try picking some up its well worth reading.

I like to think of Judge Dredd with Sly as being a foundation where things can only get better.
This fan film seems set to prove that.

Sentox6:
Alright, I'm gonna be honest here: I know nothing of the Judge Dredd-related universe. I've heard the guy's name before. That's the absolute boundary of my knowledge.

That being said... Judge Minty? Seriously?

He delivers justice to the unlawful, and leaves them with fresh breath.

Movie better fucking have I am the Law By Anthrax

RESPECT THE BADGE
HE EARNED WITH HIS BLOOD
FEAR THE GUN
YOUR SENTENCE MAY BE DEATH BECAUSE
I AM THE LAW
YOU WON'T FUCK AROUND NO MORE

"YOU DISOBEYED THE LAAAW!!"
"LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWW!!!!!"

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Well, it looks pretty good, but Judge Minty? Wha?

WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT

Interesting. Always am interested in such projects that are done without much financial backing, yet as professionally as they can be. :)

That said...because I am UNBELIEVABLY immature...here's the Judge Dredd blowdance!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=732Spw0hGrU

samsonguy920:
I like to think of Judge Dredd with Sly as being a foundation where things can only get better.
This fan film seems set to prove that.

Sentox6:
Alright, I'm gonna be honest here: I know nothing of the Judge Dredd-related universe. I've heard the guy's name before. That's the absolute boundary of my knowledge.

That being said... Judge Minty? Seriously?

He delivers justice to the unlawful, and leaves them with fresh breath.

Yeah, I can't help but think they'd have been better just making up a judge from scratch and giving him a name that didn't sound like a gum ad. I just can't see anyone who's not deeply into JD taking a movie called Judge Minty seriously. Apart from the name, it looks great tho, and Hollywood needs to start seeing these people with genuine love for a character and throwing some cash to them instead of another sequel. I'm thinking of the MK reboot too!

That looks really, really good for a fan film. As for Judge Minty, well I remember reading the story in 2000AD back when I was a youngster! Good memories. As long as they keep the pitch black feel that permiates all Dredd related stories, they should be on to a winner.

Rebellion, take notes on how to do the new Dredd film properly. Before its too late!

..Who, now?

ShadowsofHope:
..Who, now?

Read :). Its very much worth it if you love dystopian sci fi futures, with black humour running through every part of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_Dredd

Batsamaritan:
ok... as a brit who grew up reading Dredd, the stallone movie was a perversion of the books character and screwed with everything good about the books. If not for dredd and 2000ad the comic he featured in american comics might not have had alan moore, garth ennis, mark millar, neil gaiman.... seriously try picking some up its well worth reading.

I've been trying and I've found a collection of hard-back omnibus' at my not-so-local comic shop. They have all the Case Files except for number one... It's always number one...

OT: This looks excellent! Really can't wait to see this.

Aplogies: double post.

They fucking better have this song in it:

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