With Rebellion’s just-announced Judge Dredd Mega-City One TV series two years away, 2000AD have some recommended reading for you, while you’re waiting for the series to debut, which may just hint at the direction of the show.
Last week, Rebellion announced they had partnered with studio IM Global, producers of a range of shows that include I, Rebel (for Amazon) and King Kong Skull Island (following up on the hit film), to produce a “big-budget” Dredd series – the first time the publisher will oversee the future lawman’s on-screen escapades.
IM Global Television President Mark Stern and CEO Stuart Ford will executive produce with Rebellion founders Jason and Chris Kingsley, who executive produced the 2012 Dredd feature film adaptation starring Karl Urban, which was co-financed by Reliance Entertainment and IM Global.
Development on Judge Dredd: Mega-City One has already begun, with the cast to be announced at a later date, with a planned 2019 launch date – and the show will be filmed in the UK.
It’s being planned as an ensemble drama, following the Judges as they encounter the myriad challenges of a world in which east-coast cities have merged into a giant megalopolis.
Just like the character created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra created back in 1977 for 2000AD, many of the issues they encounter will have echoes of those today – from the dangers of domestic terrorism to the tensions between the ultra-rich and the disenfranchised.
“We’re very excited to be beginning the journey to get more of Judge Dredd’s Mega-City One on the television screen,” commented Jason and Chris Kingsley, the owners of Rebellion.
“Thanks to the legions of fans who have kept up pressure on social media, and a lot of background work and enthusiasm, we aim to make a big budget production that will satisfy both our vast comics audience and the even greater general screen-watching public.”
“This is one of those seminal sci-fi properties that seems to only become more relevant with age,” Mark Stern told Entertainment Weekly, which first broke the story on Wednesday. “Not only is it a rich world with biting social commentary, but it’s also fun as hell! As a fan of the comics and both films, it’s a dream come true to be able to work with Jason and Chris in adapting this for television.”
In a presentation on the 2000AD YouTube channel, series producer Brian Jenkins and Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley offered some hints about the show – and how it may perhaps mix the darker storylines of Dredd with some tales inspired by the crazier aspects of Mega-City One.
“Up to now, Rebellion and 2000AD have typically licensed things out to other people and that’s been very successful, but we haven’t been very hands on, or at least we haven’t been as hands on as we would like to be,” says Jason. “We’re now in a position, in terms of the infrastructure of the company and the scale of the company, where we can actually start putting some of these stories together ourselves.”
“This is really exciting,” says Brian, who admits to being a little taken aback by the sheer scale of the back Judge Dredd catalogue. “We’ve sat here and gone through a lot of stuff,” he reveals.
In an effort to help new Dredd fans prepare for the impending series, the 2000AD‘s Keith Richardson and Michael Molcher have now presented a video of suggested reading, so you can prime yourself for the world of Mega-City One before the show debuts. “You’ve got two years before it hits the screen,” Michael notes, and so titles such as Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files 01 and Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files 05 which includes the first appearance of Judge Death and contains the Apocalypse War storyline, should definitely be on your bedtime reading list.
Also recommended is the soon to be released
Whether the suggested reading hints at some of the elements of the new show remains to be seen, of course – but the recommendations are all great introductions to the world of Dredd, so if you haven’t picked them up, now you have an excuse!
“If it’s not Dredd, it’s not meant to be read!” insists Keith Richardson. Better not argue with that! Check out the list below the video link…
2000AD’s Mega City One Primer
The story of future lawman Judge Dredd continues in this third book collecting together his adventures in chronological order. This bumper volume features many of Dredd’s most exciting cases including the first appearance of Judge Death and Psi Judge Anderson and the return of Satanus first featured in the epic Cursed Earth saga.Featuring the writing talents of comic legends Pat Mills (Slaine) and John Wagner (A History of Violence), this volume also features the art of Ian Gibson (The Ballad of Halo Jones), Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) and Brian Bolland (Batman: The Killing Joke) amongst many other artists.
Buy Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files 01 from amazon.co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes
The law at war! Judge Dredd rides into action in this fifth volume collecting together some of his most exciting cases. Arch-nemesis Judge Death rises from the grave once again in ‘Judge Death Lives’, citizen is pitted against citizen in ‘Block Mania’ and the apocalypse comes to Mega-City One in the all-time classic Dredd epic, ‘The Apocalypse War’.Featuring art by such comic legends as Carlos Ezquerra (Strontium Dog), Brian Bolland and Mike McMahon (The Last American) and written by John Wagner and Alan Grant (Lobo) this tome is a worthy addition to any Thrill-seeker’s library!
• Buy Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files 05 from amazon .co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes
In Mega-City One the Judges are the Law, acting as judge, jury, and executioner. But how do the citizens really feel about a system where they are powerless? America Jara and Bennett Beeny grow up as best friends, living a fairly trouble-free life in a dangerous city… bar the odd encounter with a Judge. Time draws them apart, and when they are brought back together, Beeny is a successful singer and America has become involved with a terrorist organisation with the Judges in its sights!
Written by John Wagner with art by Colin MacNeil this dark and complex tale is a true 2000AD classic!
• Buy Judge Dredd: America from amazon .co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes
An unusual delivery is made to the Grand Hall of Justice, a package that will force Dredd to lead a mission into the Cursed Earth and into the darkest recesses of the history of the Judges and Mega-City One…
Now in this much-anticipated Dredd epic, history is written by Dredd co-creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra with a special introductory tale featuring the art of Kev Walker.
• Buy Judge Dredd: Origins from amazon .co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes
The events of the Apocalypse War come back to haunt Dredd and the whole of Mega-City One thirty years later as agents of the destroyed Sov Cit East-Meg 1 seek revenge.
With the much-loved mayor of Mega-City One presumed dead by the citizens, an election has been scheduled to choose his successor. Cadet Judge Hennessey has predicted that something terrible will happen on election day and she may be right. East-Meg assassin Nadia has arrived in the Big Meg, looking for a scientist who has created a very dangerous virus…
This game-changing beginning to the biggest Judge Dredd story ever written, has been produced by comics’ legend and Judge Dredd co-creator John Wagner, and features the incredible artwork of Staz Johnson (Detective Comics, Catwoman), Henry Flint (Zombo, Shakara), Colin MacNeil (Song of the Surfer, Insurrection) and Ben Willsher (Lenny Zero, Doctor Who).
• Buy Judge Dredd Day of Chaos: Fourth Faction from amazon.co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes
The twenty-second century. America is an irradiated wasteland. Within it lies a city, built on the ruins of the old world – Mega-City One. With eight hundred million people living in chaos, only the men and women of the Hall of Justice can maintain order. Juries. Executioners. Judges. Toughest of them all is Judge Dredd – he is the law!
Written by Arthur Wyatt (Orlok: Agent of East Meg One) and featuring the stunning artwork of Henry Flint (Zombo) and Paul Davidson (X-Men Legacy), Urban Warfare, continues the adventures of cinema’s hottest future cop.
This collection also features the jaw-dropping origin story of the criminal Ma-Ma who featured in the Dredd movie, written by Matt Smith (Judge Dredd: Year One).
• Buy Dredd: Urban Warfare from amazon.co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes
• Dredd/Anderson: The Deep End – out in July 2017
When the dust settles… the bodycount rises! Continuing the story of the cult 2012 movie DREDD. After the brutal day in which Ma Ma and her gang were brought down, telepath Judge Anderson is trying to adjust to the brutal life of a Street Judge. After investigating a claim of demonic possession, she finds herself at odds with a merciless drug cartel.
Soon after, when lethal radioactive storms from the post-apocalyptic wasteland known as the Cursed Earth hit the city, they bring more than just dust into Mega-City One. When unexplained killings coincide with the storms, Judge Dredd is forced to hunt a mysterious mutant and take his ruthless brand of justice into the Cursed Earth.
• Buy Dredd/Anderson: The Deep End from amazon .co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.