Before delivering sci-fi hits like Ex Machina and Annihilation, Alex Garland was arguably best known for writing and executive producing Dredd, the second cinematic adaptation of the 2000 AD comic book property following the critically underwhelming, Sylvester Stallone-led Judge Dredd in 1995. We learned later from star Karl Urban that Garland also handled directing the movie, but on the slim chance that Dredd 2 were to move forward, Garland doesn’t want any part in tackling it. As he put it:
No. It was a pretty crude experience, for a bunch of reasons. At the end of it, I didn’t want to go back. I love Dredd, by which I mean I love the character, but I’m not in any hurry to do that again.
Sorry to disappoint you folks who are still itching for Dredd 2 and were hoping that Alex Garland would work on it, but it sounds like his experience on the first movie was anything but enjoyable. While speaking with ScreenGeek about his upcoming miniseries Devs, while he still likes Judge Dredd the character, he’s not keen to jump back into that world, so a different creative mind would need to work on the sequel.
It’s been seven years since Dredd was released, and although it was a critical success overall, it failed to perform well commercially, making only $41.5 million worldwide off a budget in the $30-$45 million range, which Karl Urban attributes to a failure in marketing. Nevertheless, there continues to be talk about making Dredd 2 happen, be it as another theatrical release or as a streaming service series.
The latter seems to be the likelier option at the point, though there haven’t been any major updates on that front recently, and even if there were, scheduling would be complicated given that is busy with Amazon’s The Boys. Still, a follow-up project hasn’t been outright shelved, so we’ll just have to keep waiting to see if someone else can get it going.
Regarding Dredd itself, which also starred Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey and Wood Harris, it was reported almost a year before its release that Alex Garland took over the editing process from original director Pete Travis, who was barred from that step of production due to creative differences. Karl Urban later revealed that it was Garland who “actually directed” Dredd, not Travis.
All of Alex Garland’s contributions were enough to warrant discussion about giving him a co-director credit, but in the end, Pete Travis was credited as the sole director. When recollecting on the behind-the-scenes Dredd drama, it’s no wonder Garland wouldn’t want to risk repeating that on a sequel.
Feelings about Dredd aside, Alex Garland has continued putting his mind to work on sci-fi projects, with Ex Machina and Annihilation both receiving numerous positive reviews and accolades. He also wrote a script for the Halo film adaptation way back when, although that project has since transitioned into a TV show on Showtime.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any significant updates concerning Dredd 2. In the meantime, Devs is scheduled to premiere on FX in spring 2020, and check out our 2019 release schedule to plan your trips to the theater for the rest of the year accordingly.