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Comic-Con: ‘Dredd’ Plays To Cheering Fans, But Will It Play To The Mainstream?

By | Thursday July 12, 2012 @ 1:44am PDT

Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-con.

The good news for Lionsgate is that Comic-Con fans of the pen-and-ink Judge Dredd accept this new Dredd as the real deal, unlike the Stallone version. Karl Urban, standing with costar Olivia Thirlby, introduced the screening by asking, “I hope you like your films dark and gritty. Do ya?” After that, he took a slight dig at Stallone by saying that fans of lycra and gold codpieces would be disappointed.

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The not so good news may be that wider audiences won’t be in on the joke. Dredd in the comics was a British parody of what the typical American action hero was perceived to be, and Urban’s exaggerated Clint Eastwood-style line readings fit that mold perfectly, but it may not be obviously satirical enough to those who won’t see past Dredd melting a guy’s head from inside, machine-gunning perps in super-bloody slo-mo, and casually dropping one villain off a balcony (this audience cheered and laughed at each one, which is the intended response).

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Considerably lower-budget than the Stallone film directed by Danny Cannon, Dredd jettisons the Blade Runner-esque heavy sci-fi, creating a futuristic mega-city (stretching from Boston to L.A. with a radioactive desert outside) that’s more like … Read More »

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‘Dredd’ To Screen In Comic-Con Preview

By | Friday July 6, 2012 @ 11:48am PDT

Luke Y. Thompson is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of Comic-Com, which runs July 12-15 in San Diego.

We previously mentioned Lionsgate‘s Comic-Con dilemma with promoting Dredd — how to present footage when the star of your panel is The Expendables 2‘s Sylvester Stallone, who starred in the oft-derided previous adaptation Judge Dredd? Now we have their solution — on Wednesday, preview night, they’ll be showing the entire movie, in which Karl Urban (who’ll be introducing the screening in person) plays the title role previously undertaken by Sly, two months ahead of its opening.

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Sometimes this strategy can backfire – Universal screened Scott Pilgrim vs. The World so many times at Comic-Con one year that by the time it came anyone who wanted to see it already had. But Dredd is looking for good word of mouth, as fans who’ve seen the trailer have been comparing it unfavorably to The Raid: Redemption, though this was somewhat defused when that film’s director Gareth Evans tweeted “Dredd looks great, not concerned about similarities. That film was in production around the same time we finished The Raid.” Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Karl Urban As ‘Dredd’

By | Saturday June 23, 2012 @ 10:24am PDT

Here’s a trailer for Lionsgate’s Dredd. Directed by Peter Travis and written by Alex Garland and based on the Judge Dredd comic books, it stars Karl Urban as the title character (played by Sylvester Stallone in the 1995 version) plus Olivia Thrilby and Lena Headey. Slated to open September 21st:

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‘Cloud Atlas’, ‘Dredd’, ‘Looper,’ ‘Magic Mike’ Screen Early For Distributors: Cannes

In the past few days, buyers at the Cannes Film Festival have had a first look at some high-profile pics they’ve already bought. Focus Features International screened Cloud Atlas on Tuesday for its distributors, and IM Global gave theirs a full showing of Dredd this afternoon. FilmNation also held screenings of three of its upcoming pics to get folks excited early.

Related: Hot Film Titles For U.S. Buyers: Cannes 2012

Cloud Atlas, directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Hugh Grant. It’s based on David Mitchell’s book that consists of six interconnected stories. Warner Bros will release domestically, but the studio did not finance the $100M film. Producer Grant Hill tells me when it became clear that Warner Bros couldn’t see how to make it within the studio system, the filmmakers chose a different route. That included a combination of equity from Asian sources and some rights deals. “We were lucky it went very well and got us the money we needed,” says Hill, adding, “When we had raised the amount we needed, we were feeling pretty good about it so we said why don’t we wait and hold back 3 or 4 territories.” The territories remaining are the UK, France, Japan and Spain. The screening could lead to deals closing soon. “There’s a lot of people talking to a lot of people… The nice part about having potential buyers in the screening is that they got to sit with people who had already bought the film and who were enthusiastic. But, you can’t control the situation, it could easily have gone the other way.” The financing structure “is a model I’d try again,” he says, “but it’s not a model that’s a fit for all situations.” Read More »

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