The creator of Judge Dredd, John Wagner recently flew down to Capetown and took a gander around the sets of Pete Travis' upcoming Dredd. Now via his facebook account Wagner [not to be confused with X-Factor contestant] has spilled some beans.
Wagner: "Just back from the set. I wasn't able to take any photos, I'm afraid, still bound by the official secrets act, but if you want to throw any questions at me I'll answer what I can. Cape Town and surrounding country was absolutely stunning. The film occupies all four giant buildings at the new Cape Town Studios. Sets looked great - grim!"
"Very pleased with what I saw of Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby. Both excellent in their roles and work well as a team. Entire crew really dedicated and determined to produce a damned good movie. Sadly I had to leave before I could see them shooting any ultra-vi. Extremely impressed by the 3-D – apart from the demo at Universal Studios in LA, my memories were of the feeble efforts I saw as a youth. This is a real quantum leap from that, really adds depth. This is going to be good."
On whether the filmmakers listened to his suggestions [Har Har].
"Where they could. Alex Garland [Screenwriter] and I have had our disagreements but he has usually had a convincing argument for doing things his way. On the main issue, concentrating the plot on a slice of life rather than trying to convey the whole sweep of Dredd and Mega-City life, I now see that he's right. It was one of the flaws of the first movie, they tried to do too much. I just had a brief conversation with Karl, he's much too hard at work to spare a lot of time. There was one shot where the camera focused in on his face, a reaction to Anderson, and I swear Carlos could have drawn that scowl. The uniform was still fairly paramilitary, Dale, but it works for me."
"Only got to see a partial shell of a lawmaster,[Dredd's automobile] so can't really comment, but did handle a lawgiver [Dredd's handgun]. Looked good. Plenty of attention's been given to the script already and of course everything at the moment is a little fluid, so where rewriting has to be done it gets done. Don't know anything about a dedicated film website but I imagine DNA will do something like that. There was plenty of graffiti, David, and there was nothing I can think of that I thought was bad or wrong. Karl, when he's acting (and even when he's not!), IS Judge Dredd. If the Meg says it'll run some shot, it probably will."
"I saw them setting up a lot of stuff for SFX but didn't get to see the final result. While in the FX dept a huge explosion went off - practically jumped out of my skin. Max the tech trying to figure out how to explode a lawgiver without killing the actor using it!"
On Mega-City 1.
"What I saw, was very Mega-City. South Africa's got something of Mega-City about it in any case. On the morning I was supposed to do an interview with a reporter from Time Magazine I got a text from the studio: "Time reporter has been mugged - interview is cancelled."
On the Script.
"I believe the script is available somewhere online, Roddy. And I did indeed bring back a vuvuzela. Thought it would be good for calling the alpacas. Listen -- can you hear it? I'm blowing really hard...!" [Yes its here]
On the Uniform.
"The eagle was on the shoulder, I think (I'm not that tuned to the visual aspect of things), muted but satisfactory. Karl's got many voices and he certainly gets the gruffness and authority in Dredd's. Pete's pretty clued up on Dredd, as are many of the crew, being old-time 2000AD readers. I was surprised by how many had an in depth knowledge of and love for the character. That was very gratifying."