It turns out Dredd was actually directed by Alex Garland and not Pete Travis, who was given the director's credit for his work. Or maybe lack of work, based on what Karl Urban has to say about it. Dredd was released in 2012 and, though it bombed at the box office, the movie has become a cult classic, and for good reason. The movie is a truly excellent example of action-packed sci-fi and, if Garland, the director behind Ex Machina and Annihilation, did indeed direct the movie, that would help explain it. Here's what Urban had to say about it in a recent interview.
"I would love to have the opportunity to play Dredd again, but if it doesn't happen then I'm happy with the fact that we've made a film that has become a cult classic and that people have discovered over time. A huge part of the success of Dredd is in fact due to Alex Garland and what a lot of people don't realize is that Alex Garland actually directed that movie."
This isn't the first we've heard of director issues behind the scenes with Dredd. Alex Garland wrote the screenplay for the movie and it's known that he had a big hand in bringing the movie to life on set. Pete Travis, who's other credits include Vantage Point, was reportedly banned from the editing process, which was due to creative disagreements with Dredd's producers and studio execs. Based on these comments, it sounds like Travis was banned from more than just the editing process. Karl Urban, continued, saying he would love to see Garland get the credit he deserves for directing Dredd.
"That would rock my world. I just hope when people think of Alex Garland's filmography that Dredd is the first film that he made before Ex Machina. You think about it in those terms; it goes Dredd, Ex Machina, Annihilation."
Alex Garland has asserted himself as a truly talented filmmaker in recent years. As for Pete Travis? He hasn't done much since Dredd. That makes this claim by Karl Urban very believable. Unfortunately, Garland is a bit jaded by the franchise at this point and likely wouldn't return for Dredd 2, should that ever happen. Urban still wants to the play the character again and, as he states here, he may get to do so in the upcoming Mega City One TV series.
"There's so much interest in that particular character and I would dearly love to have the opportunity to get in there and play that again. There are so many wonderful stories in the 2000 A.D./Judge Dredd canon that we'd be remiss not to have the opportunity to tell them. If it were up to me personally we would have been making Dredd 2 two years ago. The rights holders [Producer Brian Jenkins and Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley ] are in their process of developing their show called Mega City One and we've had many discussions and the ball's in their court. Hopefully, they get it together and are able to deliver more of what the audience wants and it would certainly be a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of it."
It would be nice for fans if that works out. As for Alex Garland, he reportedly pursued a co-director credit on Dredd, but eventually dropped it. Still, even if he's not credited, it sounds like Dredd really is more or less his first movie. This news comes to us courtesy of JobBlo