Dredd screenplay writer Alex Garland doesn’t think there’s much chance of a sequel ever seeing the light of day.
If you’re a fan of action movies and you missed 2012’s Dredd, your first course of action should be to go and watch it. Leagues better than the goofy 1995 Sylvester Stallone adaption, it took the bloody world of its comic book source material and used it to create one of the most finely crafted action flicks in recent memory. Sadly, Dredd was also a box office flop, all but killing its chances for a sequel. Despite this, its fans campaigned for the franchise to continue, efforts that screenplay writer Alex Garland has recently branded as futile.
Speaking about the possibility of a Dredd 2, Garland agreed with journalists when asked if the franchise was finished. “As far as I’m concerned? Yeah it is,” he said. “It makes me feel sad really. I feel grateful to the people who’ve attempted to get a sequel off the ground. And sorry that actually what happened was we let them down. Because the reality is that a film needs to acquit itself. It shouldn’t need a petition. And the truth is if it gets to the point where it needs a petition, it’s in big trouble anyway. That’s the cold hard reality of it.”
While Garland’s sentiments are disappointing, they’re almost made worse when paired with details he revealed about where the franchise would have gone in its sequels. “In the second film it was going to go out into the desert, which would be The Cursed Earth – people who know the comic book would know immediately what that means,” he said. The third film “would have been going back to the city and maybe bringing in some Dark Judges or something like that.” Garland also expressed confidence that a sequel, like the original film, could have been filmed on a relatively small budget. “We could have made it for [$30 million] if we shot it in 2D,” he said. “[$35 million] maybe [in] 3D I guess.”
Even with the cost of filming that low however, we’re not really surprised that movie studios would be reluctant to invest in a follow-up. Even setting aside Dredd‘s fiscal failure, R-rated action films just aren’t the theatrical mainstay that they used to be even a few decades ago. Fans of the genre might crave more movies like Dredd, but it honestly makes more sense for studios to invest in something less hardcore that can rake in that sweet sweet PG-13 cash.