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Judge Dredd (1995) Poster

(1995)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (7)
Director Danny Cannon was so disheartened over his constant creative disputes with Sylvester Stallone that he swore he would never again work with another big-name actor. He also claimed that the final version was completely different from the script, due to the changes Stallone demanded.
The scene in which Fergie mocks Dredd was improvised, and it turned out to be so funny to see Rob Schneider making fun of Sylvester Stallone that it was decided to keep it in the movie.
In later interviews, Sylvester Stallone said he felt the film was supposed to be a comedy/action film, and demanded rewrites to make it even more comedic. The director and screenwriter, however, had intended a darker, more satirical approach, which led to many difficulties behind the scenes.
In the Dredd comics, tradition dictates that Dredd does not take off his helmet, thus his face has mostly only fleetingly appeared in full, but the producers obviously would not allow an expensive performer, such as Sylvester Stallone, to never show his face clearly.
In an interview, Rob Schneider claimed that the film crew gave Sylvester Stallone extra fire retardant on the back of his costume for the fiery exhaust shaft scene, while Mr. Schneider got no fire retardant at all.
Director Danny Cannon had to fight hard to convince the producers to make the film in England. His reasoning for this was not because it's the natural home of Judge Dredd but because of the high level of film technicians in the UK.
Sylvester Stallone had never heard of Judge Dredd until he was offered the role.
The Welsh rock group Manic Street Preachers were supposed to compose the title song for the film, but after the disappearance of one of their members, they chose not to go on with the production and the project was abandoned. In 2003 they finally released the song, titled "Judge Yr'self".
According to Rob Schneider, Sylvester Stallone called him and offered him the role of Fergie after first choice, Joe Pesci, turned it down.
The movie is about a popular and long-running British comic book character who first appeared in the comic "2000 AD".
In the comics, Fergie is a fugitive who lives in the Undercity (the remains of the original Eastern Seaboard US cities which were covered over with a layer of concrete and Mega City One was built on top) and is the "top dog" over the other outcasts and mutants. In the film he is simply a cowardly ex-convict who serves as comic relief.
One of the flying taxis was later used as a test vehicle for what was touted as "the world's most powerful automotive subwoofer". Since the car had no glass, interior fixtures, or any breakable parts, it was considered a suitable platform what what were essentially two movie theater subwoofers bolted into the rear of the vehicle.
In the film Mega City One is shown to be much smaller than it was in the comics. In the first scene featuring the Council Judges, a map of North America is shown and Mega City One doesn't spread out much further than the current New York metropolitan area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut). Maps from the comics have shown Mega City One covering most if not the whole of the US Eastern Seaboard. It is also stated in this scene that it has a population of 65 million, in the comics it is usually around 400 million (although it varies), this is after the Apocalypse War has halved the population from 800 million.
Early on in development Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered for the title role.
According to an interview with writer Steven E. de Souza for the Den Of Geek web site in December 2013, the original cut was rated NC-17 and had to be re-cut and resubmitted to the MPAA five times in order to get an R rating. This was before Sylvester Stallone and the studio tried to cut the movie even further to get PG-13 rating. For example, the scene where Rico kills news reporter Hammond and his wife was originally longer and it showed two of them getting hit by bullets in slow-mo. The scene where the ABC Warrior robot kills Judge Griffin by ripping his arms and legs off while Griffin screams was also deleted for these reasons. This scene was not to be shown onscreen but Danny Cannon wanted to make the movie more and more violent (just like original comic, which he was a fan of) despite the fact that the studio and Stallone wanted the movie to be PG-13 with more focus on humor. Probably the most infamous deleted sequence is one where Dredd fights and shoots clone Judges during the ending. This scene was deleted for unknown reasons and some promotional stills show parts of it, clones waking up and Dredd shooting one of them. There was also a magazine article about this deleted sequence. Some of the other parts of the movie got cut out as well by Stallone and studio.
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From the beginning the film was intended to receive a PG-13 rating. Due to excessive violence the MPAA refused to downgrade the initial R rating despite repeated appeals by the studio and Sylvester Stallone. Mostly because of schedule constraints the film could not be re-cut and was released with an R rating.
Christopher Walken turned down the role of Rico.
The "Lawmaster" bikes were built from scratch. They were so powerful, only stuntmen could drive them. The actors were given safer, low-powered "moped" versions to ride.
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Prior to production, Danny Cannon proclaimed that this would be "the Ben-Hur (1959) of comic book movies", but unfortunately Sylvester Stallone had different plans, and Cannon's vision was unfortunately compromised.
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The moment where Dredd takes off his helmet caused a lot of controversy. Judge Dredd would never remove his helmet in the comics. He took it off only once, but his disfigured face was covered with a censor bar.
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Danny Cannon turned down the chance to direct Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) in order to make this film.
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Director Danny Cannon had a poster for a Judge Dredd film that he created himself published in Prog 534 of 2000ad dated August 8, 1987. The poster featured Harrison Ford as Judge Dredd, Daryl Hannah as Judge Anderson, and Christopher Walken as an additional co-star. Ridley Scott was listed as the director.
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The vehicles used in the film (Taxis mainly) were actually Land Rover Forward Control 101s, originally used as a military vehicle. For the film, Land Rover designed and built the 31 vehicles using the FC101 chassis and a fibreglass body. Only one of the vehicles was given an interior to match for close up and interior shots, the rest were totally bare inside except for the controls and a drivers seat. The one with the interior can be seen at the Planet Hollywood in Myrtle Beach, SC
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Three years before this film was made, Tim Hunter was attached to direct it with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the Judge.
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This is the third film in which Sylvester Stallone plays a policeman framed for a crime he didn't commit. The other films were Tango & Cash (1989) and Demolition Man (1993).
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Danny Cannon wanted actors "of international importance" so that the movie would feel timeless.
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This was the first movie to release simultaneously with a video game.
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The Coen Brothers were offered the chance to make the film. They turned it down in favour of Fargo (1996). Coincidentally, Max von Sydow's character is named Fargo.
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Sylvester Stallone discussed his feelings about the movie in an issue of Uncut magazine in 2008:

"I loved that property when I read it, because it took a genre that I love, what you could term the 'action morality film' and made it a bit more sophisticated. It had political overtones. It showed how if we don't curb the way we run our judicial system, the police may end up running our lives. It dealt with archaic governments; it dealt with cloning and all kinds of things that could happen in the future. It was also bigger than any film I've done in its physical stature and the way it was designed. All the people were dwarfed by the system and the architecture; it shows how insignificant human beings could be in the future. There's a lot of action in the movie and some great acting, too. It just wasn't balls to the wall. But I do look back on Judge Dredd as a real missed opportunity. It seemed that lots of fans had a problem with Dredd removing his helmet, because he never does in the comic books. But for me it is more about wasting such great potential there was in that idea; just think of all the opportunities there were to do interesting stuff with the Cursed Earth scenes. It didn't live up to what it could have been. It probably should have been much more comic, really humorous, and fun. What I learned out of that experience was that we shouldn't have tried to make it Hamlet; it's more Hamlet and Eggs".

He later elaborated:

From what I recall, the whole project was troubled from the beginning. The philosophy of the film was not set in stone - by that I mean "Is this going to be a serious drama or with comic overtones" like other science fiction films that were successful? So a lotta pieces just didn't fit smoothly. It was sort of like a feathered fish. Some of the design work on it was fantastic and the sets were incredibly real, even standing two feet away, but there was just no communication. I knew we were in for a long shoot when, for no explainable reason Danny Cannon, who's rather diminutive, jumped down from his director's chair and yelled to everyone within earshot, "FEAR me! Everyone should FEAR me!" then jumped back up to his chair as if nothing happened. The British crew was taking bets on his life expectancy.
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John Wagner, the creator of the comic character on which the film was based, said when interviewed by Empire in 2012: "the story had nothing to do with Judge Dredd, and Judge Dredd wasn't really Judge Dredd even though Stallone was perfect for the part." He did however praise the production value and budget of the film.

In an interview with Total Film, he said that the film had "tried to do too much" and "told the wrong story".
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Danny Cannon was apparently not allowed on the set for the post-production reshoots.
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Twice when giving locations, the police radio announcer alluded to two comedic duos: "Corner of Abbott and Costello" (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello) and "Corner of Burns and Allen" (George Burns and Gracie Allen).
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Jerry Goldsmith was originally scheduled to score the film, but due to scheduling problems had to drop out. However, as a favor to the producers, he wrote an original score for the film's original teaser trailer that has since been used on a number of other trailers. David Arnold was originally hired to replace him, but was himself replaced by Alan Silvestri because the producers felt he was too closely allied to director Danny Cannon.
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The "flying bike" scenes features three seconds where Dredd is a computer generated image. This is the part where he swoops low over a crowd of punks.
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RoboCop (1987) borrowed so much from the Judge Dredd comics that it delayed this production for years. It was so successful and similar that the producers had to wait before going ahead with this movie.
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The Coen brothers, Peter Hewitt, and Richard Stanley all reputedly turned down the chance to direct.
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Joan Chen treated her character's relationship with Rico like they were lovers: "She's attracted to [his] absoluteness."
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To bring Hammerstein to life, they were going to use a man in a suit, but Danny Cannon insisted they build it for real. It's powered by hydraulics and controlled by five remote operators.
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At first the villain for this movie was going to be Judge Death, a monster who makes "living" illegal. But it was too expensive to create Death's skeleton body, and Rico had more to do with Dredd's past.
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Since this was shot in England, they kept the streets wet at all times so that it wouldn't matter if it rained.
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There were over 70 clones on set. Some were dummies and others were stuntmen in prosthetics. The actors in the suits had to shave off all their body hair before the costumes could be glued on.
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The film takes place in 2139.
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Renny Harlin and Richard Donner were the first choices for director.
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The crew built a replica of Lady Liberty's head 20% bigger than the real thing.
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According to "The Making Of Judge Dredd" by Jane Killick with David Chute and Charles Lippincott, several production crew members are mentioned around the set of Mega City 1: Bracey Massage Service (Chris Bracey, Neon work, uncredited)
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Danny Cannon was chosen to direct because the producers liked his previous film The Young Americans (1993).
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Rob Schneider got banged up while shooting. On his first day, he fell down a flight of stairs.
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A stuntwoman was used for the head-butt in the fight scene between Hayden and Hershey, but Diane Lane and Joan Chen did the rest of it themselves.
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Max Von Sydow and James Earl Jones also both performed in Conan the Barbarian.
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Alan Silvestri's score is similar to Eraser (1996). Coincidentally, Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered for the title role in this film before his good friend and future The Expendables (2010) and Escape Plan (2013) co-star Sylvester Stallone got the part.
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1. 300m is nearly half the height of the empire state building and the empire state building is only 612.6m high.

2. 300m is 98 floors NOT 40 so they didn't need to go to the fortieth floor.
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The tank-like SUV's were custom-made by Land Rover. The hovercar is based on a lamborghini countach
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Jürgen Prochnow and Max von Sydow were both in Dune (1984).
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The Janus lab was constructed from aluminum to give it a different look from the rest of the movie.
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Fergie is the film's comic relief.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The film largely ignores the 2000AD comics story line. One of the main differences was that in the film Judge Griffin is a scheming, cold-hearted villain who wants to turn Mega City One into an even more authoritarian society, in the comics he was an honorable man who was head of the academy before becoming Chief Judge of Mega City One (the film calls this position "Chief Justice") and had personally trained Dredd and was a mentor to him. These character themes were seemingly transferred to Chief Justice Fargo in the film, who in the comics retired as Chief Judge before Dredd was born. Although the film does follow the comics in that he is the DNA "father" of Dredd and Rico (who are cloned from him).
There are similarities between this film and Demolition Man (1993). Sylvester Stallone is a cop in the future and his nemesis escapes from prison with the help of a corrupt politician who frames Stallone for murder. In both movies the politician is betrayed and murdered by Stallone's nemesis and Stallone battles his nemesis one last time and foiled his sinister plan.
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In the novelization and the comic book adaptation of the film, Fergie dies, when he using his hacking skills to save Dredd and Hershey from the ABC Robot and Dredd apologizes to Fergie for misjudging him. In the film, after Fergie hacks into the ABC Robot and saves Hershey, Fergie lives and is seen being loaded into an ambulance and requests that they pull over by an ATM at the end of the movie.
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In the comics Judge Hilda Margaret McGruder (Evelyn McGruder in the film) and Judge Thomas Silver (Gerald Silver in the film and played by a white actor, in the comics he was black) both had extensive histories and served as Chief Judge, in the film they are minor characters who only serve as Council members and end up being killed. Also in the comics there was never a Judge Carlos Esposito on the Council, this may be a reference to Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra.
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Armand Assante played Rico with a Sylvester Stallone-like speech pattern to show how alike Rico and Dredd are.
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Sylvester Stallone and Armand Assante played brothers in Paradise Alley (1978), which Stallone directed.
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Pa Angel, head of the Angel family, is played by Scott Wilson. He is known for playing Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead.
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