Dredd 3D Story writting & Designing
Garland began writing Dredd during post-production of his other writing credit Sunshine, and completed his first draft while serving as an executive producer during filming of 28 Weeks Later. Garland’s draft revolved around one of Dredd’s main enemies, the undead Judge Death. He described the story as a “riff on the whole Judge system”, but that it did not work because the Judge system had not yet been established and required too much knowledge about the Judge Dredd comic from the audience. He also considered the end result too surreal and extreme. From this script, Garland decided that the story needed to be more focused and grounded. He instead considered adapting some of the notable Judge Dredd storylines, including “Democracy” (1986) and “Origins” (2006). He decided to avoid these lengthy tales in favour of a shorter, day-in-the-life story about Dredd and his function as a cop in the dystopian environment of Mega-City One. When developing the Judge Dredd character, Garland tried to closely follow that of the comic-book character, who undergoes only small personality changes over a lengthy period of time. He said: “I didn’t think Dredd could have a great epiphany, but there is definitely a change in him over the course of the movie. He makes a very clear statement at the beginning of the film which he then contradicts at the end. That’s about as far as the shift goes.” Garland intentionally gave the traditional character development to Anderson to compensate for Dredd’s character stability.
Discussing the film’s setting within the Peach Trees Block tower, Garland said the buildings were “like micro city states … you could live and die in those buildings”. He also considered that the setting met Wagner’s suggestion that the future portrayed in Dredd should relate to modern ways of living. Garland named the tower after a restaurant called “The Peach Tree” in Shrewsbury, England, where he first met with Wagner. The budget limited his ability to represent some of the comic aspects of Mega-City One, such as robots and aliens. Throughout the production, Garland would send his script to Wagner, who would revise some of the dialogue. Urban would then further revise the script during his performance.
The filmmakers decided that Dredd should appear lean and fast like a boxer rather than bulky like “someone who spends hours sort of steroid up himself.” His Judge uniform was altered from the comic version; an extruded eagle statuette was removed from his shoulder pad to emphasis the outfit’s functionality and give it a sense of realism. Garland said: “If you did a very faithful adaptation of the uniform you’d have someone who if he got stabbed in the stomach he’d be in big trouble. Dredd is out there on the frontline so he needed protection.” Remaining faithful to the comic, Dredd’s face, except for his mouth, is never shown and his helmet is not removed throughout the film. Urban said: “He is supposed to be the faceless representative of the law and I think that is part of his enigma … You wouldn’t get to the end of a Sergio Leone Western and go, ‘God, I didn’t even know the character’s name!’ It’s irrelevant.”
Dredd’s signature weapon, the “Lawgiver” was developed as a fully operational weapon based on a 9mm firing system, capable of firing ammunition and being changed from automatic to semi-auto fire. His motorcycle “Lawmaster” was a modified 500cc motorcycle. A large fairing was added over the motorcycle with machine guns, an extended wheel base and the largest functional tyres possible. The vehicle was also operational and Urban insisted on riding it himself rather than relying on Chroma key visual effects. Wagner described the necessity of adaptation from the source material and said that the 1995 film’s attempt to directly replicate the comic’s motorcycle was unable to steer because the tyres were too large.