This weekend will see the US release of Dredd 3D. Based on the star of the 2000 AD UK comic book, Dredd is a high-octane, action-packed sci-fi drama with more special effects than you can shake Michael Bay at.
If Dredd does well this weekend, what’s in store for the inevitable sequel? We talked to screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later) and he told us what he has in mind. He also told us all about how he kept Dredd bloody and fascistic — and how his next movie could channel some of the same deep space themes we loved in his underrated movie Sunshine.
Did you keep count of how many people you killed in Dredd?
Alex Garland: I have no idea. [Laughs] There’s a particular sequence where a whole section of this mega block, which has a very high density of population, gets machine gunned. So I guess it would end up being in the hundreds.
So there’s no way you could keep track of how many bullets of buckets of blood you used, because there was a lot of blood… a lot of blood.
We used a lot of blood. We used to keep running out on set. It was surprisingly difficult to get a hold of sometimes. We were splashing it around all over the place.
Have you prepped anything for a Dredd sequel? Are you interested in telling the block wars or any of the political weirdness, like the Mayor being a serial killer?
If I got a chance to work on the sequel, and if there was a sequel (and there are a lot of variables in that). But, from my point of view, the politics is a lot of what I want to get into. There’s a lot of stuff that’s implied in the first film that you could really explore a lot more of in the second. Dredd is part of a police state, he’s a fascist. The subversives are sometimes the enemy in the comic books — there’s something really interesting about pro-democracy terrorists. Where the bad guys are the people fighting for democracy. Of course they’re not the bad guys, because you should be fighting for democracy. I would like to explore that.
Dredd is such a Cold War icon with the nuclear wasteland and the Soviet Mega-City, did you do a lot of thinking about making it relevant to the 21st Century?
You’re right there’s a lot of Cold War themes in there, but it’s also quite punk. 1977 [is when it started]. It’s antiestablishment, highly aggressive and it’s basically subversive. Bearing all those things in mind some of which you could say are period-based, I didn’t really worry about it. Because at the heart, what you have [in this] story is a very, very fucked up urban environment. In which the law and order is struggling to keep a cap on it. It’s over-stretching itself and over reaching it’s own boundaries in order to try and stay ahead of things. And that, to me, doesn’t seem to be very different to a lot of what’s happening in the here and now. I felt that it was perfectly current and the irradiated wasteland beyond the city becomes scifi texture rather than the heart of it.
Read the entire article over at i09