Empire Online is reporting that Karl Urban has been confirmed to take the lead role in the new Judge Dredd film. The confirmation came from producers Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich during a panel at Movie-Con. Macdonald said:
There’s been a change in comic-book movies; they were treated unseriously and now they’re treated seriously. We’ve cast a guy called Karl Urban to play Dredd. We’ll be shooting in Johannesburg, it’s being directed by Pete Travis, we’re shooting with the people who did District 9 – and if we get it right, Alex has a couple of ideas for other stories as well. It’s not based on any one comic, and John Wagner is involved in every decision.
“A guy called Karl Urban?” That’s how I’d describe a restaurant I was sure you’d never heard of. He may not be a household name, but when talking to a panel of movie nerds, I think you can just say “Karl Urban.” Macdonald also says this of the film:
Our idea is to make a very hard, R-rated, gritty, realistic movie of Dredd in Megacity, so we’ve got to get the tone right. He’s not going to take off his helmet.
I’ve never read any Dredd, but I’m gonna assume based on that last sentence that we never see the character without his head gear (like Belushi in the The Blues Brothers), and that fans hated the Stallone flic for this reason – among many reasons, I’m sure. Sometimes I like Urban, sometimes I don’t, but I never write him off beforehand. He’s found his way into some great films. So Dredd fans, what do you think? Is Urban a good choice?