Judgement is indeed coming for “Dredd” and that judgement may not be all good. The upcoming dystopian thriller has not been handled well from minute one outside of hiring Alex Garland (“28 Days Later,” “Sunshine“) to pen the screenplay and even that may not have helped. Some ask why anyone bothered to remake Sylvester Stallone’s movie “Judge Dredd,” and producers countered that they were going back to the source material and making things — wait for it — darker, more violent and more humorous like the comic book.
Rumors about a troubled production rang out last fall and Lionsgate has only started to begin promotion of the film in the last few weeks. Filming began in November 2010, post-production was completed a year later in February and almost two years after that fact it’s headed for theaters. So naturally, in need of some good PR, “Dredd,” starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey and Domhnall Gleeson (all strong character actors, but not exactly a tentpole-known cast) is heading to Comic-Con, where it’s hoping to break out in a bigger way.
So much so that Lionsgate is screening the film early at the geek jubillee hoping that positive word of mouth will greatly affect its box-office outcome when it lands in theaters on September 21st. Frankly, it’s a dead-duck release date for a film like this and its during the fall film festival season, right after Toronto and right before New York, so it’s easy to see this one becoming overlooked. We could be wrong, but recent trailers reminds most audiences of “The Raid: Redemption” with more growling and scowling, which would be great if “The Raid: Redemption,” hadn’t already hit theaters. But if you are one of the devoted who care, there are various constituient sites who are giving away tickets to the screenings at Comic-Con. Will this one land like “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” or “Kick-Ass,” two celebrated Comic-Con films that didn’t exactly light up the box-office with regular, non-geeks? Time will tell. Meanwhile, your new “Dredd” motion-poster is below.