Though it absolutely bombed at the box office, Dredd is a pretty darn good comic book adaptation. It's dark, gritty and (most importantly) true to the source material. But, believe it or not, we need to thank Sylvester Stallone and his generally mocked 1995 Judge Dredd film for it getting made. Really!
Dredd writer Alex Garland did a sit down with Movies.com to promote the flick, and talked about how the genesis of the film came together several years ago, when Garland and his team got word that the rights were up for grabs.
Most importantly? It was cheap, as most studios still considered it a pretty toxic franchise, even though it's been nearly 20 years since Stallone's ill fated attempt to don the iconic helmet:
"I would never do that [mock Stallone's take on the character in his version]. I would never do that for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that I've worked on enough films to know how much of a struggle they are. And I know people who worked on the first film, and I know how they feel about it, and I just wouldn't want to take a pop at it. It's also just not how I feel about it. I think it's not the film I recognize as the character, I guess self-evidently since our film is so different. And it made it possible for us to get the license, because if it had been a smash hit, we couldn't have made our film, so I can't have any bad feelings for it.So, if you were among the few that saw Dredd this weekend and enjoyed it, give a shout out to Stallone.
... We were in postproduction on Sunshine and in preproduction on 28 Weeks Later, and Andrew said, 'I think we can get the rights to Dredd, because nobody wants them and nobody realizes how good a license it is. Do you want to do it?' And I immediately said yes."
Thanks a lot, big guy.