Looks like the excellent Dredd is not getting the sequel it deserves. We get Hot Tub Time Machine 2 but not a sequel to a movie that not only delivered an accurate portrayal of the futuristic lawkeeper but also demonstrated some promise of what is yet to come. Judge Dredd exists in a world full of characters, locations concepts and stories that could keep a franchise running for at least a solid trilogy…
…Or a tv show running for at least five seasons! A movie did a good job of introducing who Judge Dredd was but a film franchise wouldn’t even scratch the surface of the potential that Dredd and Mega City One holds. It’s a series that lends itself to a tv show, with procedural cases each week and some great over-arching stories that could truly develop the expanding world further.
Within the walls of Mega City One you have the individual high-rise blocks that house the inhabitants of the post-apocalyptic city. These were used in the movie Dredd but add block wars or the control of illegal substances, like the rare but highly addictive substance sugar (yes, normal, everyday sugar) and you have at least two or three stories developing already.
Beyond the walls of Mega City One are other cities, like East Meg, the Russian counterpart to the American city. One story had the two cities warring, with nuclear weapons; a very good way to end a season. Between the cities is also the Cursed Earth, a land that in inhabited by mutants and outlaws, dangerous but ripe with iconic characters and very interesting stories.
Within the Justice Department Dredd works for is a lot of potential, from psychic Judges to corrupt officials or even a failed, disastrous robot Judges program. There is plenty to take from as the comic series has now been running for almost forty years. Just a look through the Wikipedia page showcases some of the many stories and events that would be perfect for a tv show to choose from.
Of course, any tv show needs a network and there is now only one place that could hold something as brutal, dramatic and adult as Judge Dredd – Netflix. Shows like Judge Dredd need time to find an audience and one movie just didn’t do it, ending a promising franchise before it even started. Add it to a streaming service that isn’t determined by immediate, week to week ratings, and you could well have a sleeper hit that becomes something much larger after time.
Overall, Judge Dredd is being lost in the two movies he his been given. A tv series is the way forward, offering scope to actually develop his character, the ever-expansive world he inhibits and the host of supporting players that have made the comic so successful. Give it to a network like Netflix, which is known for taking a chance on slightly edgier content, and you could have a huge hit that does the original creation justice.