"I am the Law!" Does that quote give you goosebumps or nightmares? Sylvester Stallone uttered those words as Judge Dredd in the awful 1995 sci-fi action flick, featuring Diane Lane as his partner, Rob Schneider as his comic sidekick, Armand Assante as the villain, and Max von Sydow as the Chief Justice. Now a new version of the British comic strip character will be coming to the big screen, with production scheduled to begin next year, according to an announcement at the 2000 AD web site.
Judge Dredd began life in the second issue of the magazine anthology 2000 AD. In a time when Judges are running a huge megapolis, Judge Dredd was empowered to enforce the law, sentence offenders, and carry out the punishment. The premise sounded ideal for adaptation, but the 1995 movie version, directed by Danny Cannon, was tired and generic; Schneider was especially annoying. It lacked any zip or zest; fans noted that Dredd never removed his helmet in the strip and, more importantly, complained that the dry humor was missing and the mythology was left out. Stallone himself feels that the film was "a real missed opportunity," and told Uncut magazine that "great potential" was wasted. "We shouldn't have tried to make it Hamlet; it's more Hamlet and Eggs."
The new version will be made by Rebellion and production company DNA Films; DNA also made 28 Weeks Later and Sunshine. No other details have been announced. Obviously, the right script and director are essential, but let's play "what if?" and try to imagine: who could be the next Judge Dredd? And does he need to keep his helmet on?