Dirty Harry and in 1983, secured the rights. Working with independent producer Edward R. Pressman (Conan the Barbarian), the duo set out to find scribes for the film. A small army of writers came and went, including Ed Neumeier (Robocop), Tim Hunter and James Crumley, comic book maestro Howard Chaykin, William Wisher (Terminator 2) and Steven E. de Souza (Die Hard). 1987's law enforcement-satire-western hit Robocop drew much of it's inspiration from Dredd while the project continued to languish. Arnold Schwarzenegger was rumored to be interested but it would be his then rival Sylvester Stallone that gave the project the necessary star wattage to push it closer to production. Cinergi, the company of former Carolco partner Andrew G. Vajna, stepped up to co-finance with distribution coming from Disney's Hollywood Pictures. 27 year old Danny Cannon won the director's job through a mix of his impressive love and knowledge of Dredd, vision of the film and heat from debut film The Young Americans.
Street Fighter. Having just come back a bit from the under performing Rocky V, Oscar and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Stallone would struggle as high profile and big budget films Assassins and Daylight would disappoint at the U.S. box office.
The 13th Warrior. Steven E. de Souza would reteam with Jean-Claude Van Damme for 1998's Knock Off before guiding Tomb Raider sequel, The Cradle of Life. Years after Dredd's release, de Souza would be blamed for writing an R rated Disney film after Danny Cannon delivered a such a violent piece that it lost promotional deals for toy and fast food tie-ins. In 2012, a medium budget, gritty, more faithful take on the character hit theaters with Karl Urban sporting the helmet as Dredd. Fans and critics liked the film more than Stallone's version but the flick landed with a thud opening weekend with an anemic take of $6.3 million on it's way to a $13 million total and worldwide gross of $35 million, woof! Fans might have gotten the Dredd they always wanted but I found the new flick to be boring, self serious, cheap looking and used way too much CGI and slow motion. Guess that just shows you how unknown the character is and partially validates the original's star driven attempt. Until next time, Judge this!