Karl Urban, the Actor who got his big break playing Billy Butcher in The Boys, is finally opening up about the new Judge Dredd: Mega-City One TV Show. He says that he would be willing to play the role of the titular character for the series provided the show runners are willing to let him in. Will Karl Urban be able to reprise his role in the show? Or is it all just fool’s gold dreaming up such a scenario.
Judge Dredd was the brainchild of British Sci-Fi Comics’ 2000 ADcomic book strip that started in the year 1977. Set in a dystopian future where crime and law are two sides of the same coin, the story was set in a futuristic United States. It featured the eponymous hero, a law enforcer that operated in the Eastern Coast of United States. Mega-City One, a sprawling metropolis, was home to millions of people. Only a select few elite remained and ruled as the upper class hierarchy of society. Most of the people of Mega-City One were downtrodden and under-privileged, living from hand to mouth. The lawless suburban areas of Mega-City One are patrolled by specially trained police personnel called Judges. The ‘Judges’ had the legal authority to be the judge, jury, and executioner for an apprehended criminal. Judges were feared for their ruthlessness and seeming invincibility due to the customized weapons and training under their belt.
And Judge Dredd was the most fearsome and infamous of them all. When Dredd came, criminals ran away like rats running back into their sewer holes.
Judge Dredd has been the subject of two movies. The first starring Sylvester Stallone as Judge Joseph Dredd, told a very different tale of Mega-City One. The movie was mired in controversy when it was released back in 1995. Even the creator of Judge Dredd disavowed the movie, claiming it to be an abomination. Then in 2012, another movie was released. Titled Dredd, it starred Karl Urban as the brutal law enforcer trying to stop a Drug Lord called Ma-Ma and her gang from taking over a 2000 storey high rise nuclear blast proof building. The movie also featured Olivia Thirlby as Dredd’s telepathic apprentice – Cassandra Anderson.
Dredd was appreciated by the critics. The Critics lauded Karl Urban’s portrayal of the character, claiming he had absolutely nailed the very essence of Judge Dredd in his acting. The movie also featured very unique action sequences. Despite rave reviews, Dredd under-performed at the Box office. The movie’s box office failure led to Lionsgate halting plans for another sequel that was in the works. But the Video on Demand viewers showed renewed interest in the Dredd Universe. So IM Global and Rebellion made an announcement that they had joined forces to give the fans what they want – a Judge Dredd TV Series.
The CEO of 2000 Comics AD Publisher Rebellion – Jason Kingsley, leads the company that prints and publishes the Judge Dredd Comics. In an interview with the Apocalyptic YouTube Chat Show V2A Emergency Broadcast, Jason Kingsley claims that the script for the Judge Dredd show set in Mega-City One has been finalized but the show is not able to be let into production because of the current corona virus pandemic initiating a global lock down.
“I want there to be a sequel [to 2012 movie Dredd]. We’ve got the rights back so we can do it, we’ve just got to get rid of this virus thing that’s going on at the moment, and then hopefully things can kick off in all sorts of different areas of making film and TV, it’s just– it’s all very messed up at the moment for everybody.”
A lot of work has been done on all sorts of different scripts actually, so Mega-City One the TV show,” he added on. “Basically we can’t go into production because of the [coronavirus pandemic] and we’ve got scripts and everything is ready to go but the problem is, because of the pandemic and everybody’s funding changes and everybody’s shifting around.”
With all the hype around the new Judge Dredd show raging on, an interview with Karl Urban, who starred as Dredd in the 2012 movie of the same name, brought to light a new piece of information! Karl Urban is yet to be officially involved with the series but he is extremely keen on being a part of the new Rebellion sponsored show. Urban states that he respects Kingsley and working with him would be a very satisfying experience overall. Urban, who is him-self an avid comic book fan, has claimed that there are a “plethora of great, great stories within the Judge Dredd Universe” that the Mega-City One show could easily explore. For now Karl Urban is not a part of the cast and crew for the Judge Dredd show but he says he will pounce on the first chance he gets, saying “ you can bet your bottom dollar” that he is going to be there in any way possible.
For now, Karl Urban is busy with The Boys Season 2, Amazon Prime’s dark superhero comedy series that ended on a climactic note in its first season. Despite having a busy schedule, he is willing to clear his dates so that he could make time for the planned Judge Dredd TV Reboot. As fellow Dredd fans, we would really like him to join forces with Rebellion this time.
It is not like the studio did not try to rope him in earlier. When the Judge Dredd TV Reboot – Judge Dredd: Mega-City One was in its nascent stages, Urban was in talks to be starred as the eponymous character. Those talks never bore any fruit. Urban reiterated in 2018 that he is still open to play the role given the shot callers at Rebellion and IM Global give him a chance. In 2020, he again reinstated the fact that his interest for playing Judge Dredd has not waned.
Karl Urban has already played so many action oriented roles. In The Boys, he plays a very similar rebellious operative hell-bent on biting more than he could chew. Judge Dredd: Mega-City One will focus on more characters than just Judge Dredd. So even if Urban finds his way into the show, there will be multiple people in the spotlight this time. It will be interesting to see how things pan out form here on out.