Judge Dredd (1995) Poster



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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 the Dredd comics, tradition dictates that Dredd rarely takes off his helmet, thus his face has mostly only fleetingly appeared in full, but the producers obviously would not allow an expensive performer such Sylvester Stallone to never show his face clearly.
Sylvester Stallone had never heard of Judge Dredd until he was offered the role.
In later interviews, 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.
The movie is about a popular and long-running British comic book character who first appeared in the comic "2000 AD".
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.
In the comics, Fergee 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.
As well as creating a story not featured in any of the original 2000AD comics, the film follows very little of their history, making it non-canonical. 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).
Early on in development Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered for the title 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".
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.
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.
Christopher Walken turned down the role of Rico.
Three years before this film was made, Tim Hunter was attached to direct it with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the judge.
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.
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 Stallone. Mostly because of schedule constraints the film could not be re-cut and was released with an R rating.
According to Rob Schneider, Sylvester Stallone called him and offered him the role of Fergie after first choice Joe Pesci turned it down.
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)
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.
Director Danny Cannon had a poster for a Judge Dredd film that he created himself published in Prog 534 of 2000ad dated 8 August 1987.
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.
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.
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.
The Coen brothers, Peter Hewitt and Richard Stanley all reputedly turned down the chance to direct.
Renny Harlin and Richard Donner were the first choices for director.
According to "The Making Of Judge Dredd" by Jane Killick with David Chute and Charles Lippincott, a number of the production crew are mentioned around the set of Mega City 1:
  • Ty's Thai Kitchen (Ty Teiger, Prop Master)

  • Mary Lou's Reptile House (Mary Lou Devlin, Production Associate)

  • Lanzer Bacteriologist (John Lanzer, Production Buyer)

  • Allday and Nite Liquor Store & Allday Dining (David Allday, Art Director for vehicles)

  • Bill Ying Tong's ('Jon Billington', Junior Draughtsperson)

  • Grays Marks Dependable Delivery Service (Richard Graysmark, Floor Runner)

  • Newman's Dehumidifying (Christopher Newman, 1st Assistant Director)

  • Bracey Massage Service (Chris Bracey, Neon work, uncredited)


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

In the novelization and the comic book adaptation of the film, Fergee dies, when he using his hacking skills to save Dredd and Hershey from the ABC Robot and Dredd apologizes to Fergee for misjudging him. In the film, after Fergee hacks into the ABC Robot and saves Hershey, Fergee lives and is seen being loaded into an ambulance and requests that they pull over by an automated teller machine at the end of the movie.

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