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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Thursday, 6 December, 2001, 12:45 GMT
Games company in 28m movie deal
Filming is due to begin next year
An Oxford-based computer games firm has clinched a 28m two-picture deal with an American film company.

Rebellion - owner of 2000 AD comics - plan to bring comic book hero Judge Dredd back to the big screen in Judge Dredd: Dredd Reckoning.

The film will coincide with the release of a Judge Dredd computer game, Dredd vs Death, currently under production at Rebellion.

Jason Kingsley, creative director of Rebellion, told BBC News Online it was a very exciting time for the company.

'Big names'

"We are still in the writing stage, but filming should start next summer," said Mr Kingsley

"There are a few big names being approached to play Judge Dredd, but unfortunately we are not in a position to say who they are yet.

"It's very exciting and we all have our own ideas of we would like to see in the lead role."

Mr Kingsley hopes that the Judge Dredd films and computer game is the first in a long line of 2000 AD characters to be portrayed in the cinema.

This is a great time for movies about superheroes

Vicky Pike, co-partner of Shoreline Entertainment

"We have got a lot of plans," he said.

"Fans of 2000 AD are already writing to us with ideas, and we encourage them to do that.

"It is exciting for them as well as us."

As well as being one of the film's producers, Mr Kingsley who has read the comics since their first edition, is also helping to write the script.

He said the film will be different from the 1995 Judge Dredd film which starred Sylvester Stallone.

"I'm a fan of Judge Dredd myself and I think I understand Dredd's character.

2000 AD logo
Rebellion recently bought the rights to 2000 AD

"He is a distant father figure and doing what he thinks is right by protecting people.

"In the film we want to get back to the original comic book character, such as keeping his helmet on and keeping the sense of brutal authority.

"The [Sylvester Stallone] film was generally liked, but most people felt it diverged from what the original character was."

In the past, Rebellion has been involved in producing computer games on the back of films such as Alien vs Predator and The Mummy for companies like 20th Century Fox.

This is the first time it has produced a game to be released in conjunction with a film, although Mr Kingsley admits it was a happy accident.


"We had already started production on Dredd vs Death before the deal was struck.

"It's a stand-alone game to be released in 2003 at the same time as the first film.

"Usually games come out on the back of a film or vice-versa, so it is quite unusual to do it this way."

After filming is complete, work will begin on 'Judge Dredd: Possession', the second planned film in the double deal.

Vicky Pike, co-partner of Shoreline Entertainment said filming them back-to-back was advantageous.

"This is a great time for movies about superheroes and there are thousands of Judge Dredd stories so there is endless material available to work with," she said.

"It will also be easier to brand the movies by presenting them back-to-back."

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