Writer and co-creator of Judge Dredd John Wagner has never had very nice things to say about the 1995 film adaptation of his comic creation, but at least he gets another shot at a good flick when Dredd is released this year. He’s already said the film’s screenwriter is on the right track, but what does he think about the film overall?
In a new, and very rare, interview with Hero Complex, the 2000 AD writer, who still scripts Dredd’s adventures in futuristic law enforcement, once again said that he agrees with the narrow, more slice of life approach that screenwriter Alex Garland took for the reboot. But it turns out he’s also a fan of the cast, and of some of the things the new film avoids completely.
“The plot is about Dredd and his world. It’s impossible to cover every aspect of the character and his city—perhaps that was one of the failings of the first film; they tried to do too much and ended up with not a lot. ‘Dredd’ homes in on the essential job of judging—instant justice in a violent future city. I like the actors, they’re well cast and they handled their parts well. Olivia Thirlby is perfect as Anderson, the young psi judge. She gives the character a touching vulnerability. Karl Urban will not remove his helmet and will not kiss his costar.”
More approval from Wagner is definitely good news for Dredd fans who are hoping 2012 is the year he finally gets the movie he deserves. As for that first film, Wagner said he still hasn’t seen it a second time, but he does admit there was at least one thing about it he liked.
“I envy their budget, though. Some of the CGI was very good, and the re-creations of the Angel Gang and the robot,” he said. “The robot actually came from a Pat Mills story and didn’t belong in Dredd, but it looked good. If the plot had revolved around characters like them the film would have been more successful.”