Everybody’s got a movie that they secretly want to see a sequel to, no matter how silly a subsequent film might be. Mine? Drop Dead Fred obviously. But every once in a while a mass following of fans all come together in the name of getting a sequel made, and their voices are so loud that the powers that be must heed the call. In this case, the film is Dredd, and the voices are being heard through an unofficial petition for the ”Make a Dredd Sequel” campaign. Now the project has found some strong support, as the British comic publisher Rebellion is officially backing the petition, according to Comic Book Resources. There’s still no telling whether Lionsgate or DNA Films will listen to the die-hard fans’ requests, but they’d have to be pretty hard of hearing to just ignore it.
Rebellion is the company that publishes the comic anthology series 2000 AD that Judge Dredd stories call home, and it’s a pretty big deal for them to acknowledge the strength of Pete Travis’ film and its potential for expanding the Judge Dredd universe.
“Not long after the film came out, this fan-run campaign started up,” said Rebellion PR coordinator Michael Molcher. “We've watched it and it put us in a bit of a difficult position. Do we step in and try to help out or what? So we've decided to officially endorse it as "2000 AD." We can't guarantee it's going to succeed, but we want to say to the fans that your support is appreciated. There's a massive following for the film, now, who have never read the comic. Perhaps there's an opportunity for us to help spread the word about the movie and the comic, and down the line it might make a difference to getting a sequel.”
He makes it very clear that this endorsement is from the comic alone, and that it doesn’t reflect the opinions of anyone in the film industry. As such, their support will be comic-driven, with advertisements for the petition printed in the pages of both 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Megazine - plus prominent displays on their Twitter and Facebook pages. When asked if he would have promoted the first film any differently, Molcher says he would have drawn more comparisons to the comic book. That’ll be pretty easy to do once the ads are in the pages of an actual comic book.
The film’s star Karl Urban has been watching the petition’s popularity “with great interest,” he told Crave Online recently. “I don’t quite know the full mechanics of how it breaks down in terms of what the real financial reality is to make a sequel to Dredd, but I am really heartened by the fact that just about every day, every single day, people come up to me and tell me how much they love that movie and how much they want to see more.”
While some people probably expected Dredd to flop in theaters, I don’t think anyone realized just how terrible it would do, making only $6 million in its opening weekend. Conversely, many were surprised by just how well the film did on DVD and Blu-ray, selling over 300,000 copies in its first week alone. It clearly wasn’t a case of people avoiding a bad movie so much as unwittingly missing out on a great one.
Go take the time to sign the petition here and hope for a better future.