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Citizens of London, prepare for a dystopic mega-city transformation as the futuristic world of Judge Dredd arrives next year in a new immersive live sensation yanked straight from its cult comic book universe — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive preview complete with comments by its chief architect, actor Tom Lionetti-Maguire.
Judge Dredd Uprising: The Live Experience opens in spring of 2021 from the talented creators at Little Lion Entertainment, the same folks who delivered London's The Crystal Maze challenge attraction based on a popular '90s British TV game show. First appearing in the pages of 2000 AD #2 in 1977, the grim lawman Judge Dredd was created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, and is one of the best-loved British comics characters of all time.
"Dredd is THE most iconic British comic book character of the past 50 years – he’s our own Iron Man, our own Captain America, but he’s a complex character and an anti-hero too," Lionetti-Maguire, founder and CEO of Little Lion, tells SYFY WIRE. "Also, Dredd’s world is the real star: an incredibly rich, satirical, and funny future dystopia of criminals, con men, mutants, droids, and weirdos. You’ve never seen a future like Dredd’s Mega-City."
For this sprawling new event, guests will enter the post-apocalyptic realm of London circa 2040, where teams of five will role-play as convicted felons on their way to prison when the iconic Judge Dredd intervenes to enlist their help in saving the corrupt city. The mega-attraction encompasses five zones of mental and skill challenges, including a Cursed Earth laser-tag combat arena; a future Piccadilly Circus packed with weird denizens of mutants, droids, and gangsters; and the grand finale centered in the New Old Bailey.
The multi-level quest takes place in the megalopolis Brit-Cit, a crazy, post-nuclear London of the future. Judge Dredd has revealed a terrible plot, and you and your merry crew of chancers are the city’s only hope of survival.
Little Lion Entertainment is pulling out all the stops for this Dredd drama, employing impressive set design, next-generation interactive technology, and a real-life cast of crooks, robots, and convicts, all in a surreal dimension perfectly suited for comic enthusiasts, hardcore gamers, and brave thrill seekers.
Lionetti-Maguire describes the attraction as part comic book, part sci-fi film, part immersive theater, part escape room, part action adventure, and part full-on indoor theme park.
"Over the 150 minutes of gameplay players will encounter gangsters, rebels, robots, mutants, small-time hustlers and future celebrities – all played by real actors playing parts, and in which the narrative strands you choose will have real consequences in game!" Lionetti-Maguire says. "There are five sectors in Judge Dredd Uprising. From a welcome zone where you receive your instructions from Judge Dredd himself, you’ll be banged up in an 'Iso-Cube' cell in the Hokey-Chokey prison. Players will work out how to escape from their Cube out into the main General Population area of Hokey-Cokey and join a prison break."
The genesis for the project was a prison break experience idea that Lionetti-Maguire dreamed up years ago.
"Outside in future Piccadilly, players will track down Total War operatives, gain their confidence and escape into the irradiated Cursed Earth outside the City, where the all-important Justice Dept transmitter is located. Finally a climactic laser-tag battle in the New Old Bailey, where you’ll discover if you’ve succeeded and the fate of Brit-Cit will be decided."
Dredd himself will be integrated through a series of video messages to players seen during the experience, introduced as a blend of digitally enhanced actor, SFX, and real performance. He'll be there throughout to coach players around the game, while often making them question themselves.
"We really wanted to push the boundaries of what people can expect from modern entertainment with this show; the ambition is there for everyone to see," he adds. "That in itself raises many new challenges, but we knew we had to push ourselves. It really will be a Mega-Attraction, the first of its kind, part immersive theater, part action arena, part escape room, and altogether, as yet, undefinable … it’s going to be a game changer."
Check out our concept art preview of Judge Dredd Uprising: The Live Experience in the gallery below, and get ready for spring of 2021.