Dredd: first screening reaction

News Simon Brew

Dredd has screened at the Cannes Film Festival. And it's given us new clues about the movie...

It's not just us who's a bit curious as to what's been going on with the Dredd movie. It's due out in September, and there's been very little official released to do with it so far. No poster, no trailer, and just rumours of trouble behind the scenes. Whether those rumours are true or not isn't known, we might add, but the silence coming from the direction of the production of late is leaving people filling in the blanks.

However, it's now clear that the film is actually finished, as it's been screened for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival. This wasn't a critic's screening, so there's nothing close to a review of the movie doing the rounds yet. Instead, it was screened for investors and distributors.

Deadline spoke to Stuart Ford of IM Global, who has a vested interest in the film (given that IM Global stumped up a good chunk of the funding for the movie), and thus was hardly likely to put a negative spin on it. He reported, though, that "the reaction was great. It was as packed as any screening I’ve seen in Cannes. There were people sitting on the floor in the front and the back of the room". Even with dodgy air conditioning, nobody left the screening, "even though it was about a hundred degrees".

Ford describes Dredd as an "edgy, cool film with a rocking soundtrack", arguing that it "appears very fresh and distinctive. It's Dirty Harry meets District 9". Make of that what you will.

It goes without saying that we're desperately keen to see the movie. Its UK release date is currently marked down for 7th September, and it arrives in the US on 21st September.

If they were going to release a trailer soon, then tying it to The Dark Knight Rises might yet be the wisest plan. We'll keep you posted...


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please be good

I knew you'd say that... ;)

I'm sure it can only be better than the Stallone movie from the nineties. I mean, really ?

I do hope they haven't betrayed the lore.

Karl Urban is always watchable. Looking forward to this one. Does anyone know how closely the film resembles the comics at this stage? I've never really followed 2000AD much, but am looking forward to a true cinematic interpretation.

 Right from the get-go I have had little hope for this enterprise. It just doesn't look right. Karl Urban's stern visage looks too forced, the costume looks cheap and impractical, and as mentioned above the lacking of promotional material hints at something suspicious going on behind the curtain. I hope I'm pleasantly surprised, though...

Karl Urban is a good choice - he can act for a start, Alex garland means well :)...
dirty harry meets district nine is a good point of reference ,regards grime and tough tone...
i have hope....another 10 years and we will get a pure cgi dredd --then they can have an authentic costume ...fingers crossed for the trailer 

I've always felt that Dredd would make a really good CG TV series too. However, I'm quietly looking forward to this but am not getting my hopes up too high!

Dirty Harry meets Distric 9 sounds promising!

That single line of dialogue still makes me shudder.

All I can do is hope and pray at this point.

Hated the first one....this better be good!

This film will make the original look like Bill Shakespeare penned it.

and your evidence for this is..?

Actually, having read the early script draft that was leaked online back in 2010, I predict this is going to be one great little movie, and will instantaneously wipe away every and all memories of that Stallone debacle once it hits cinemas in September.  The people behind it know what Judge Dredd should be - a futuristic Dirty Harry on steroids (metaphorically speaking) - and what he shouldn't be - a classic archetypal hero figure - and both of the character's creators have voiced their enthusiastic approval of the film, so if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me... now where's that trailer...

Because Shakespeare loved men in tight fitting spandex.

They have stripped away a lot of the hi-tech, futuristic elements from the Dredd stories. Also, the wackiness of Dredd's world has been toned down.

But the core element of the film script is very true to the nature of Dredd. At least in this one, we will get to see him judging criminals and not members of his own department.

"Dirty Harry meets District 9"? I remember Battle Beyond the Stars as being "Star Wars meets the Magnificent 7".... it wasn't.

"an edgy cool film with a rocking soundtrack"... damn, they've messed up the sound effects recording.

"the reaction was great".... means everybody was in uproar

"nobody left the screening"... they packed so many people inside, no one could get out!

"it was packed as any screening i've seen"...I've been to Cannes, I've never seen an empty cinema for a showing ?

Don't get me wrong? I really really want this film to work, I downloaded all the comics from issue 1, but I am quite worried about this and would love to be found wrong...

"Don't get me wrong? I really really want this film to work"

You could have fooled me.

I agree with @Dedpool and others who say something similar - Dredd SHOULD be like "Dirty Harry on steroids meets District 9", and this sounds promising. However, I don't like the sound of @Eldo's info (posted about 5 entires below, with much thanks to @Eldo) "...They have stripped away a lot of the hi-tech, futuristic elements from
the Dredd stories. Also, the wackiness of Dredd's world has been toned
down..." To my way of thinking, it is the traumatic scale of Dredd's world which created Dredd as he is and made him necessary. Surely, toning down that world in any significant way would make Dredd & his modus operandi appear too outrageous for his environment? Something like filming a biography of Churchill and toning-down Nazi Germany to look less monstrous and more "acceptable to audiences", if you get my drift. The result would be an atmosphere of "Why is the hero so terrible?" Dredd the man NEEDS his savage and wacky world around him, or the reason for his existence and behaviour is missing.  IF (and it's just an "if") the reports emerging are factual, it would appear the Dredd will be a flawed masterpiece at best. Probably still worth watching though, I hope...

That's the hard balancing act the film makers have had to perform. If Dredd's world is too wacky, you wonder why Dredd is such a git. Make the his world too vicious and Dredd would not seem as bad as he should be.

From what I have read, and seen, they seem to have captured the essence and spirit of Dredd. The big bad is not in the realms of Chief Judge Cal and not as monstrous as Judge Death.

We see what you did there. : )

No I eally do lol. I have every issue of 2000AD on my computer and love Dredd, but my goodness everything I hear about this movie gives me the impression of a SyFi saturday afternoon movie based on the comic book. Especially as it doesn't take place in the far future in a world very twisted but similar to our own. If I don't see someone firing a missile from one skyscraper into another I am gonna be so disappointed. Bloc war anyone?

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