2012's Dredd was a blistering piece of action cinema with top production values, great set pieces, delerious violence and a forbidding central performance by Karl Urban.
It cost $50 million to make (before prints and advertising).
It made $35 million worldwide.
Now I'm not going to do the thing again where I fall down on my knees and scream theatrically WHY!?! (I just did a little bit) but I still don't get how that happened. Maybe it was too violent. Maybe no one outside of the UK cares about the character (it earned almost a fifth of its total gross there) or maybe all those people who say they want good action cinema are actually just morons. Anyway, it happened and me being sad about it isn't helping anyone.
Because the film did have its fans they've been asking for a sequel these last three years, with star Karl Urban also getting in on the campaigns and everyone from the director Pete Travis to writer Alex Garland being asked about it in every interview they've done since it released. But nothing has happened and the petitions are starting to go quiet. Now, Dredd producer Adi Shankar is having his latest say and its pretty good stuff. Firstly its worth pointing out that Shankar, who just turned 30, has already produced successes like The Grey, Killing Them Softly and Lone Survivor and he specialises in creating R-rated movies that people want to watch. So he no doubt finds the failure of Dredd even more frustrating than anyone else.
Here's his breakdown of what it would take to make Dredd, which becomes a pretty decent lecture on international film financing in the modern era. With extra cursing.
Shankar doesn't come right out and say it but it seems pretty clear that the formula he describes simply doesn't apply to a property like Dredd. Unless you're going rough and ready and can produce the film for 10-15 million, there's no way to expect a profit and the niche appeal of a property isn't at all likely to attract a major star. I'd still love to see a Dredd sequel but I think, at this point, this particular stab at the franchise is dead.
Shankar just produced the POWER/RANGERS short and has plenty more legit and not-so-legit projects on the way.