Forget Wolverine: Dredd 2 Is The Karl Urban Superhero Movie

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Karl Urban would undeniably be a great MCU Wolverine after playing Billy Butcher in The Boys – but he would be even better as Judge Dredd in Dredd 2.

Karl urban Dredd wolverine

Karl Urban’s unrelenting stoicism and badass demeanor as The Boys‘ Billy Butcher has made him a Wolverine fan cast favorite – but given his promising portrayal of Judge Dredd in Dredd(2012), he seems to be an even better fit for Dredd 2. 2000 AD’s comic strip, Judge Joe Dredd, got its first big screen adaptation in 1995. Unfortunately, Judge Dredd‘s big budget could not make up for its shallow depiction of Dredd’s complex antihero persona. While it still manages to captivate with its visuals of neon cityscapes and futuristic weaponry, Sylvester Stallone’s Judge Dredd does not do justice to the thought-provoking satire on fascism, authoritarianism, and law enforcement portrayed in the original Dredd comic books.

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Pete Travis’ take on Dredd rises above the pitfalls of the first adaptation, and instead of heavily relying on aesthetics and settings, confining its premise to a single slum tower block. Karl Urban’s Judge Dredd and his psychic trainee Judge Anderson find themselves trapped inside a building after drug lord Madeline “Ma-Ma” Madrigal (Lena Headey) takes control and attempts to kill them. This closed setup works in Dredd‘s favor as it concentrates all the action and drama in one location, instantly raising the stakes for the main characters, and effectively putting Judge Dredd’s ambiguous morality on full display. Karl Urban complements the movie‘s simple yet compelling storyline by adding multiple layers to his character despite having more than half of his face covered with a helmet.

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Given the popularity of the superhero genre in the past decade, Dredd may not be as well-known as most MCU and DC franchise films. However, considering the scalability of its ideas, dark but appealing world-building, and didactic themes, a sequel could potentially bring it to the limelight and rank it well among — if not above — other superhero franchises.Of course, it goes without saying that Dredd 2 could really benefit from Karl Urban’s return since the actor’s performance as Judge Joe in Dredd and Billy Butcher in The Boys proves he makes one hell of an antihero.

Why Dredd 2 Would Be Great

Dredd Movie Karl Urban

Despite being ostensibly similar to other mainstream superheroes, Dredd feels a lot more realistically flawed. His unwavering gruffness towards a failing society is always visible on his face but is often contrasted by his determination to make his bleak surrounding a better place. Karl Urban’s rugged exterior throughout the film but relatively empathetic outlook towards the end perfectly captures this. Given how there is almost always a clear line that separates heroes and villains in most superhero movies, a gray antihero like Karl Urban’s Dredd is much needed, and that is one big reason why the world needs Dredd 2. Dredd‘s ending also sets up an intriguing future for Judge Anderson, who, instead of being a typical sidekick, completely alters Dredd’s outlook. Even her psychic abilities often take the center stage when Dredd’s cynicism fails. Her dynamic with Dredd transforms throughout the movie as some of Dredd’s sternness bleeds on her while some of her empathy rubs off on Dredd. Owing to these developments, it would be fascinating to see how their reformed relationship would play out in Dredd 2 and affect their crime-fighting endeavors.

Similar to horror sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane, Dredd narrows its vision to a closed location and gives a glimpse of how the macro-workings of a dystopian world affect the micro-dynamics of its people. Dredd 2 would be great if its treads a similar path, but it could be even better if it gradually expands this vision and draws a clearer picture of its fascist society. If Dredd 2 successfully explores these newer avenues, the mere prospect ofJudge Dredd fighting his way through even bleaker storylines would be very exciting.

Will Dredd 2 Ever Happen?

KArl Urban as Dredd

Although Karl Urban would not mind revisiting his character (via GQ), Dredd 2 will probably never happen. In an interview (via Collider), Alex Garland (director of Ex-Machina and Annihilation) confirmed this by saying that even though he appreciates all the support for the film, he is not interested in making a sequel. The auteur also added that it could still happen, but he and the creators of the first one would have no role in it. Alex Garland’s statement is a letdown, but it could still mean that Dredd may yet get a new — and hopefully even better — TV or big screen adaptation.

RELATED: Marvel Has The Perfect Way To Avoid The X-Men’s Big Wolverine Problem

Would Marvel Cast Karl Urban As The MCU’s Wolverine?

karl urban as billy butcher in the boys and hugh jackman as wolverine in logan

Jon Krasinski’s Mister Fantastic proves that Marvel keeps a close eye on fan casting trends. However, the backlash following Kransinski’s Mister Fantastic cameo in Doctor Strange 2 shows that fan-casting dreams can turn into nightmares if they are not carefully executed. Considering how this fan casting went wrong, Marvel will likely tread carefully before casting Karl Urban or anyone else in that regard solely based on their popularity among fans.

In fact, precisely because Krasinski was featured in the movie only for fan service arguably shows that Marvel does not take fan casting too seriously. The MCU could still drop a bombshell and surprise everyone by casting Karl Urban as the next Wolverine, but the likelihood of that is extremely low. Therefore, Karl Urban may never be MCU’s Wolverine or Dredd 2‘s titular judge, but he will certainly return as the hard-as-nail Billy Butcher in The Boys season 4.



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