“I don’t give a damn what he thinks”: Karl Urban Had a Billy Butcher Like Message For Sylvester Stallone While Remaking His Flop Movie Judge Dredd

Karl Urban was fully confident that his 2012 remake, Dredd, was better than Sylvester Stallone's 1995 Judge Dredd film.

karl urban, sylvester stallone, Judge Dredd


  • Sylvester Stallone gave one of the worst films of his career when his Judge Dredd was released in 1995.
  • Later when Karl Urban released his remake titled Dredd in 2012, he confidently assured that his version was far better than Stallone's.
  • Even though both the versions were financial disappointments, The Boys actor's remake film got comparatively better reviews.
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Long before headlining Amazon Prime’s The Boys series as Billy Butcher, Karl Urban attempted to lead a comic book film Dredd. The film was based on the comic strip Judge Dredd created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra for the 2000 AD comic magazine. However, Urban’s film was not the first adaptation of Judge Dredd, as Sylvester Stallone did it first in his 1995 film of the same name.

Karl Urban thought his Dredd was superior to Sylvester Stallone's 1995 version
Karl Urban as Judge Dredd in Dredd (2012)

Even though both the Judge Dredd films underperformed financially, Karl Urban had an upper hand. Urban’s version was liked by critics and is also regarded as a cult classic by fans. Even the home media sales of Dredd were impressive.

It looks like The Boys fame already expected his film to be on higher ground as he had a savage message for Sylvester Stallone on the release of his remake.


Karl Urban did not have any mercy on Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone's Judge Dredd is considered one of his worst films
Sylvester Stallone in and as Judge Dredd (1995)

After leading some widely renowned cult classic franchises like Rocky and Rambo, Sylvester Stallone tried his luck in a comic book movie in 1995 with Judge Dredd. The titular role played by Stallone was a law-enforcement officer in a dystopian future.

Despite some positive reviews for its visuals, stunts, and action sequences, the film did not make a good impression on anyone. It is often regarded as one of the weakest Stallone films. When Karl Urban remade the film in 2012, he admitted to MTV News that he had seen the Expendables star’s version. Nevertheless, he considered his remake more “badass.” 

“I saw [Stallone’s] movie when it came out in ’94. Tonally, these films couldn’t be more different. I think it’s a difference of if you like your characters wearing lycra and gold cod pieces, then his film’s the one for you. But if you like badass movie where your heroes are real and wearing leather and motorbike suits and body armor and hardcore gritty punches, this is the one for you.”

The interview turned more interesting as the Thor: Ragnarok actor was asked if he was worried about hearing Sylvester Stallone’s thoughts on the reboot. Karl Urban went full Billy Butcher on this question and replied- “I don’t give a damn what he thinks.”


According to The NumbersDredd earned approximately $41.5 million against a budget of $30-45 million. However, the domestic video sales were impressive. It collected an estimated value of $22 million from the home market.

Sylvester Stallone regretted everything that happened with Judge Dredd

The co-creator thought that Sylvester Stallone was not the problem in Judge Dredd
Sylvester Stallone’s face reveal in Judge Dredd was disliked by the character’s creator

Some of the primary criticisms faced by 1995’s Judge Dredd were centered around its script and lack of faithfulness to the source material. Even Sylvester Stallone acknowledged that he could not bring his desired vision to the big screen.

In a report by IndieLondon, Stallone claimed that the film was not handled properly. It went through numerous rewrites and re-edits that did not help it at all and could never bring the intended vision of the dystopian future on-screen.


“I think the biggest mistake I ever made was the sloppy handling of Judge Dredd. I think that could have been a fantastic, nihilistic, interesting vision of the future. With all the pop culture, that really bothered me a great deal.”

When the co-creator of Judge Dredd, John Wagner was asked his thoughts on the film in an interview with HeroComplex (via Collider), he confessed that the Demolition Man actor was not the problem but the material. He criticized the makers for telling “the wrong story.” He was very disappointed that the character even opened his iconic helmet and revealed his face in the film.

Now, with the popularity of Karl Urban and a rising boom in R-rated superhero films, it will be interesting to watch if we can get a sequel to Dredd. 

Dredd can be streamed on Peacock while Judge Dredd can be rented on Apple TV+. 


Written by Subham Mandal

Articles Published: 1118

Subham Mandal is currently working as a content writer for FandomWire with an ardent interest in the world of pop culture. He has written more than 1000 articles on different spheres of modern pop culture and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He’s also an experienced student journalist having demonstrated work experience with the Times of India. He aspires to be a column writer in the future.