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Dredd is a 2012 British science fiction action film directed by Pete Travis and written by Alex Garland.
It is based on the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd and its eponymous character by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra. Karl Urban stars as Judge Dredd, a law enforcer given the power of judge, jury and executioner in the vast dystopian metropolis of Mega City One that lies within a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Alongside rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), Dredd is forced to bring order to a feared 200-story slum and its resident drug lord, Ma-Ma (Lena Headey).
Development of a new adaptation of Judge Dredd was announced in December 2008 that would be unrelated to the 1995 film adaptation Judge Dredd. Filming began in Cape Town in November 2010 on an estimated $45 million budget.
Dredd was released on 7 September 2012 in the United Kingdom. It is scheduled for release worldwide on 21 September 2012.
The future world is an irradiated waste land. Somewhere off an eastern coast lies Mega City One – a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban police force known simply as the "Judges" who possess the combined powers of judge, jury, and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge – a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of "Slo-Mo" experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed.
During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie with powerful psychic abilities due to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture – a 200-story vertical slum controlled by prostitute-turned-drug lord, Ma-Ma (Lena Headey), and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan's inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound's control center and wages a brutal, vicious war against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her empire. With the body count climbing and no way out, Dredd and Anderson must confront the odds and engage in the relentless battle for their survival.
The film has garnered a 100% approval rating from 28 critics – an average rating of 7.3 out of 10 – on the review-aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes The film was screened at 2012 SDCC and received very positive reviews. IGN awarded the film 8 out of ten and said "Dredd is a character study, primarily, one fuelled by violence and action, and we can’t think of a better way to re-introduce this character to cinema audiences." Empire said that the film was a "solid, excellent adaptation". IndieWire said: "As Dredd, Urban either has a better character to play than Stallone did, or simply has a better grasp on what makes him tick, but the actor continues to distinguish himself as a versatile performer who turns mimicry into emotional meaning."
In July 2012, Garland said that a North American gross in excess of $50 million for Dredd would potentially allow for sequels. Garland said that he had plans for a trilogy of films with a second film focusing on the origins of Dredd and his city, and a third introducing Dredd's nemesis, the undead Judge Death and his Dark Judges. In August 2012, he also mentioned that a Judge Dredd television series would be a positive future step for the series. In September 2012, Garland further expanded his sequel concepts. He said that he would explore the "Origins" and "Democracy" storylines and introduce the villains Judge Cal and Chopper. He also said that he would pursue the concept that Judge Dredd is a fascist.