Adi Shankar is something of a cinematic resistance fighter. Even if you talk his big budget work out of the picture, including production credits on Dredd and Lone Survivor, he is still making substantial waves with the shorts that make up his edgy Bootleg Universe. Now it looks as though he’s making the move to directing with his new project Gods and Secrets. Continue reading Adi Shankar to Direct Superhero Indie “Gods and Secrets”
Fans rallying for or against a sequel is a common enough thing, since movie-goers can be fickle and passionate on equal measure when the right mood takes them and the right movie sways them. But when someone involved in a film goes one way or the another it has considerably more gravity. So when Alex Garland, the screenwriter behind the love it or leave it (loved it) shoot em up Dredd, says he’s given up hope on a sequel, that’s a significant bummer.
Screenrant has reported that the screenwriter on the bare knuckle reboot has thrown in the towel when it comes to a Dredd sequel. The film didn’t do well at the box office, but was a sleeper hit with solid DVD and Bluray sales and a generous cult following. Even so, Garland isn’t hopeful. Here’s the writer talking to Collider about Dredd while promoting his new film Ex Machina:
“The ‘Dredd’ thing is a surprise. It’s a really complicated set of emotions. I have a lot of regret about how things worked out with ‘Dredd,’ but it’s very gratifying. The regret it – you do a kind of transaction, particularly with the creators of it, which is that we want to do this thing and honor what you did, and try to do it properly, and then the film will reward that trust. That act of faith and trust and decency. And I think that the film rewarded them in one sense, but not in another. I do believe it rewarded them creatively, unless they’re lying to me about that. But I think it has created this thing of this movie that fails. The story of ‘Dredd’ is that of a failed movie. Both times, for fuck’s sake. And to be party to that, when that was exactly the intention—to not do that – is kind of difficult.”
Garland has a pretty rational take on the whole thing. Both Dredd and Judge Dredd – starring Sylvester Stallone – were commercial failures, and despite Dredd’s higher rating with fans it’s hard not to draw a straight line between the two and Garland knows it.
Dredd executive producer Adi Shankar has been keeping the fire stoked his own way since the Dredd debate started, producing gritty, realistic shorts of fan favourites like Venom, Punisher and Power Rangers. Some people have suggested this was a demonstration of how popular Dredd-esque adaptations or reboots could be. But in spite of this, Garland suggests that fans should divert their hopes elsewhere:
“… I also feel a sense of responsibility because I know there are these people who do this stuff like they’ve got money and they spend money on a DVD to try and up the chance of a sequel getting made. Because I don’t have an online profile or persona or anything like that I can’t speak to these people directly, but what I want to say is that’s so good of you, and thank you, but keep your money because the people who make the decisions don’t get moved by that kind of thing. They’re moved by other stuff, other equations, other algorithms.
“How can I say this without being soppy? It’s touching. It means something that these people support the film in that way, but the thing people want, which is a sequel, I don’t think is going to happen. I think it will happen (let me rephrase that) I don’t think it’s happening with me and the people who made the last one.”
So for Dredd fans it’s not great news. But I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else makes their own Judge Dredd film a few years down the line that incorporates the best parts of Dredd with some more mainstream elements so we can get a ruddy good saga going!
Are you peeved that there might not be a Dredd 2?
Adi Shankar made a Power Rangers short. It’s great, and you should watch it. Let me tell you why.
You don’t have to be Oscar-nominated to have a short film worth watching. All you have to is find something in the centre of the ven diagram of “films that studios will never make” and “films that fans desperately want to be made”. One film-maker who’s gotten very good at hitting that particular sweet spot is Adi Shankar. He’s gotten into a very good habit of making bootleg reboots of famous characters and universes in ten to twenty minute bursts. This is the perfect amount of time, because it satisfies the fan’s desire for a violent, gritty take on their favourite characters, but doesn’t go on long enough to disappoint them. He’s done this with Judge Dredd, the Punisher, Venom, and now – out of freaking nowhere – the Power Rangers. Here’s the short as reported on by Screenrant:
The short stars James Van Der Beek as Red Power Ranger Rocky DeSantos, Katee Sackhoff as Pink Power Ranger Kimberley Hart Russ Bain as Green Power Ranger Tommy Oliver. For a short, the story is very involved and rich, but doesn’t fall into the trap of taking itself too seriously…you’re allowed to think it’s silly without the whole thing crumbling down around you and that’s what’s great about it.
Shankar is more commonly recognisable as a connoisseur of high-violence, directing features such as Machine Gun Preacher, The Grey, and Dredd: all films that weren’t so popular with critics but were undeniably unique in their aspiration for an R-rating. Shankar’s most valuable commodity is his understanding that violence and mania need not be taken seriously all the time to be done well. This can most effectively be shown by his work in 2014, between Liam Neeson drama A Walk Among the Tombstones and Ryan Reynolds black comedy The Voices.
A feature length reboot of Power Rangers is in fact in the works with a screenplay penned by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, so it will be interesting to see where on the barometer of seriousness it decides to fall. But after seeing this short, they’ve definitely got their work cut out for them.