CAST THIS: Judge Dredd: Mega-City One

2000 A.D. superfan Dylan does his best to provide casting choices for the upcoming Dredd TV series. 

I am so excited about the opportunities the Judge Dredd: Mega-City One television series offers. The episodic world of Dredd has always been more suited to television than the various big screen incarnations, and assuming they get this correct, it could be one of the big hits of the next few years. We have reached a point where visual and special effects can create the sprawling world of Mega-City One accurately, and a culture that accepts more radical comic book ideas in mainstream entertainment.

Therefore, I have pitched below my dream concept for the series and also my ideal cast. Obviously, this is complete fantasy, but I would love to know what you think. 

Concept

One of the things that is amazing about the Judge Dredd comic series is that one year in the comics is one year in real-life. So, forty years after those first issues back in the seventies, the world has changed accordingly. Even references in the past come back to haunt the characters, even down to a predicted apocalyptic event. The temptation therefore would be to make a Walking Dead-style series, with roughly one year of the series equalling one year in the comic.

However, I would love to see the show explore the huge range of wacky stories and epic plots Dredd has been a part of over the years. There is enough there for Black Mirror-style individual episodes, all with their own tone and feel. Although the horror of Judge Death and the Block Wars should make an appearance, everything from the fatties to MacDonald City is up for grabs. The frankly silly humour in Dredd should be a big part of the show, without ever going over-the-top. Plus, Mega-City One is just the beginning – there is a chance for three episodes in the Cursed Earth, then a trip straight over to Luna One, then over to Brit Cit and Murphyville…

Also, the names of blocks should be the weird mixture of celebrity and pop-culture icons found in the comic. Why not make it something for the fans to spot, with two or three an episode? Everything form Barack Obama to Gary Lineker Block?

Combine this with genuine gore and violence, and you have a show with a distinct feel, with gripping and fresh storylines every week. You have a treasure chest to dip into with Dredd, and enough characters and scenarios to avoid repetition.

Characters

Dredd: Karl Urban: I know this is as original as saying “it must be set in the future,” but this is the dream choice. Urban nailed the role, and has a clear love for the comic. This would be a stamp of approval for the new series, and also make it a soft reboot of a great movie. And Urban has no qualms about keeping the helmet on, something another actor might quibble with. The best possible start.

Giant: Mike Colter: Colter has proved himself in Luke Cage as a man who can run a television show. Although, due to the character’s storyline, he probably only would only appear in the first series. Still, he would provide an excellent foil to Urban, and provide drama and high stakes with his inevitable conclusion.

Anderson: Gemma Arterton: Although I wasn’t a huge fan of her early career, recent performances have shown Arterton can handle some gritty roles. A stellar performance in The Girl with All the Gifts displays what she could achieve in this role. Alternatively, if the great Olivia Thirlby wanted to reprise her role from the 2012 movie, that would also be great. 

Hershey: Megan Boone: With a cracking performance in The Black List, Boone can mix drama with great action scenes, and play off another strong performance. With Hershey rising from rookie to Chief Judge, this is a chance to build a character over five or six seasons.

Death: Peter Capaldi: Inevitably, American actors should take most of the main roles of the series, but it would be great to have a reminder that Dredd is a British comic. Capaldi has a great pedigree as an antagonist, and even his Doctor has often been on the darker end of the scale. Plus, there is something about his frame and visage that, with a bit of prosthetics, will capture Death perfectly. I can just imagine his teeth glinting in the moonlight, looking over a city in chaos.

Walter the Wobot: Wil Wheaton. This is a litmus test for how the series can balance the silliness and the terror of Dredd. Walter the Wobot was comic relief in early issues, but then became part of a robot rebellion, worthy of a good few episodes. As well as the fantastically alliterative name, Wheaton would understand the arc the character goes through, and show us how many stories there are to mine from 2000 A.D.

Who would you choose for the main roles? Let me know below…

Dylan Spicer

Dylan graduated from Brighton Film School and and went on to complete an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He has worked on award-winning short and feature films. He is currently experimenting with Narradu Memories, and his online audio drama giantcannibals.co.uk.

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