Books, Scoops, Television

‘Judge Dredd: Mega-City One’ to Adapt America Storyline

This article contains new details on the upcoming Mega-City One television series.

Judge Dredd is a comic book franchise based on the longest-running comic strip in 2000 AD, a British weekly anthology comic. The titular character in the franchise, Judge Dredd, is a law enforcement officer in the dystopian future city of Mega-City One. Dredd is a “street judge,” which allows him to, amongst other things, arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals.

It was announced in May of 2017 that IM Global and Rebellion have partnered to develop a live-action television series called Judge Dredd: Mega-City One. The show was stated to be an ensemble drama about a team of Judges as they deal with the challenges of the future-shocked 22nd century.

Jason Kingsley, the owner of Rebellion, has stated that the series will be far more satirical than the movie adaptions and could become “one of the most expensive TV shows the UK has ever seen.” According to Karl Urban, the studio’s concept is to build the show around more rookie judges and young, new judges, where Dredd himself would come in and out. Urban stated that he would be interested in reprising the role for this, on the condition that Dredd’s part of the story is implemented in a “meaningful way”. In November 2018, Rebellion began setting up a new studio in Didcot, valued at $100 million, for Film and TV series based on 2000 AD characters, including Judge Dredd: Mega-City One.

One of the things that I have learned is that, yes, this series is still happening! While we haven’t really heard much about this project recently, it is still in the works. Though unfortunately, development on the series has been halted in favor of The Leopard from Lime Street series that I scooped earlier this week.

The main character in the pilot is America Jara. In the comics, America Jara was the daughter of a Puerto Rican couple who had moved to Mega-City One in search of a better life. The actions of the city’s Judges caused her to choose a dark path that eventually led her to terrorism and murder. America Jara being the main character is to be expected, as the show adapts the America storyline.

America is a Judge Dredd storyline that follows two initially ordinary citizens, America Jara and Bennett Beeny. The harsh, repressive law-enforcement system embodied by Judge Dredd leads both of them down a dark road culminating in despair and death. John Wagner wrote America to try to show readers that Judge Dredd is actually a strip about what it is like to live under a fascist, totalitarian regime.

Judge Dredd is a supporting character in the series. He is either being portrayed as a villain, or an anti-hero. Personally, I think Dredd being an anti-hero makes more sense. Though Dredd possibly being a villain also makes sense due to the storyline that the series is set to adapt. America was written to show that Judge Dredd is, arguably, the villain in his own series.

It is currently unclear when the series is set to begin production.