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Author Topic: What was missing from the Judge Dredd film (1995)  (Read 6626 times)


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Re: What was missing from the Judge Dredd film (1995)
« Reply #30 on: 08 April, 2014, 09:13:07 pm »
Has there ever been a prog-Dredd where the artist included a Justice Dept tattoo*?  Yesterday I re-read that Ron Smith one about Dredd at the shrink, and he had Justice Dept issue dog-tags round his neck.  Don't think that one was ever repeated.

*Apart from that female judge with the eagle either tattooed or shaved above her gowl
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Re: What was missing from the Judge Dredd film (1995)
« Reply #31 on: 09 April, 2014, 05:17:18 am »

I remember Kev Walker saying that the released cut of the movie excised all the conspiracy plot and just left a sequence of action set pieces that made it feel like "a bloody video game."

The 'final' shooting-script has a cover that lists 6 names who contributed to the final draft- Gary Goldman, Danny Cannon, Steven de Souza, Walon Green, William Wisher & John Fasano; only 2 were contracted for screen-credit: William Wisher & Steven de Sousa.

The script is dated 31st October 1994 and is a revised version of the July 1994 script that's available on-line (there were 6 revised editions in-between both). In relation to plot and dialogue, this shooting-script is more or less identical to what ended up on-screen, the only significant differences being Fergie looking at a video-poster for Heavenly Haven- advertising the construction of a Block-Park which is then cancelled to make way for a Justice Dept. Barracks (probably never shot) and extra shots during the fight in the clone-lab at film's end which consists of little more than Stallone being startled by a clone -whose only dialogue is the word 'pain'-  which is then shot and put out of its misery.

They may have shot it a little differently to add more action as the lab implodes but I believe the film's real cuts all concerned extended shots of violence and that no cuts were made to the 'Janus' plot or story relating to Griffin & Rico's putsch.

Judging from the 'final' shooting-script there are no deleted scenes of any story significance and the only excisions are extra shots of violence.

A Megazine article referencing the missing shots:

Steven de Souza recently commented on Disney's reaction to the focus of Danny Cannon's direction:

Which brings up the Judge Dredd rating controversy...

Judge Dredd was actually supposed to be a PG-13 movie. The production company at the time, Cynergy, they were having some financial troubles, so they didn't have any UK executives on location in England. And in their absence, the director (Danny Cannon), wanting to make it true to the comic book, was making everything more and more and more violent. So when the movie was delivered to be cut, it was rated X. It was rated X four times!

They say you can’t appeal after four. Four is all you get. Somehow, the producer, Ed Pressman managed to get it one more time to get it rated R. Which actually wasn’t a victory, because this was supposed to be PG-13. They had made a deal with Burger King, I think, and a toy company and you can’t advertise toys for an R-Rated movie, and no hamburger place wants toys for an R-Rated movie. So the hamburger people and the toy people turned around and sued Disney, the distributor!

Well, Disney then said, we’ll take this out of the director’s hide, because he signed a piece of paper saying he would deliver a PG-13. But Cynergy, who was releasing it THROUGH Disney, at that point had never done anything BUT an R-Rated movie. Nobody in the entire company had ever had the experience of putting that piece of paper in front of a director...so they had to pay him. They couldn’t withhold his salary for violating a legal promise they never asked him to make.

So at the eleventh hour, in a total state of panic, they decided that the advertising campaign should be cartoon panels. Keep in mind that this movie was about five frames away from being an x-rated movie. Their ad campaign was now comic panels of Stallone with word balloons. It’s complete cognitive dissonance!

Now, I’m innocent in this. I wrote a PG-13 script! Obviously, I knew how to do it! I did 8 o'clock network TV shows, for god's sake! In the script I wrote that the villain, Armand Assante says “Pull his arms and legs off, save his head for last, I want to hear him scream.” I wrote in the script that all you would see are the shadows and hear screams. What the director did, without any supervision since nobody from the studio was there, he had his prop people build an audio animatronic puppet, lifelike in every detail, with breakable limbs, and he actually shot the robot ripping the guy’s arms and legs off while the guy is screaming!

At the time, I lived around the corner from the studio, and they called me up when they got the dailies. It was the scene where they whack a newspaper reporter and his wife. In the script, I said it would look like your grandparent’s house, but decorated with stuff from now, since the movie is in the future. You were supposed to just see through the curtains a flash of the machine gun and screaming, and maybe one bullet hits the window. That’s what I wrote. When they showed me the scene in the dailies, this old couple dies like Bonnie and Clyde. Blown to bits in slow motion. I said, “Oh my God, this movie is supposed to be PG-13!” And they said, “No, it’s fine! the director knows all the ratings angles. Run it again!” And I’m like, “No! Once was enough! What did I miss?” He said, “They’re dry squibs! That’s PG-13! You don’t get an R-rating unless there’s blood.” I said, "There's no such rule! Who the fuck told you that?”

When they put the movie together, there were no alternative takes. The only thing they could do with that scene was to take away the slow-motion and kill them faster, and cut the time of the violence down a little. The payoff is that a few years later, Stephen J. Cannell pitched me to be the writer on his Greatest American Hero movie at Disney. When I pitched at the meeting, everything went great. After I left, Stephen called me up, and he said, “I don’t understand. It was all going great, but the minute you left they said: there’s no way that sonuvabitch is ever gonna write a movie at Disney. He fucked us so bad, we were sued by Burger King and the toy company for Judge Dredd. He wrote an x-rated movie for this studio!" I was persona non grata at Disney because of Judge Dredd!


« Last Edit: 09 April, 2014, 05:22:42 am by JOE SOAP »


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Re: What was missing from the Judge Dredd film (1995)
« Reply #32 on: 09 April, 2014, 08:20:44 am »
That's great read, thanks Joe.  Although I take his protestations with a pinch of salt - de Souza is hardly blameless for the shape of the clusterfuck in general.

I love the way the bloody  Judge Dredd Megazine itself sticks the boot-knife in - really shows how quickly the mood soured.


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Re: What was missing from the Judge Dredd film (1995)
« Reply #33 on: 09 April, 2014, 12:54:49 pm »
Brilliant stuff there - i remember those clone pictures from the Megazine - I had not seen the Dredd film at the time (I saw it when it came out on video) but based on those pictures (even with the helmet off) it looks great.

I think the making of book had some more info (but I threw it away recently).

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Re: What was missing from the Judge Dredd film (1995)
« Reply #34 on: 09 April, 2014, 01:07:29 pm »
i remember those clone pictures from the Megazine - I had not seen the Dredd film at the time (I saw it when it came out on video) but based on those pictures (even with the helmet off) it looks great.

As I understand it, the problem was that the clone suits looked great on the set, looked great in stills, and looked absolutely shite on film. Just guy-in-a-cheap-rubber-suit shite, forcing them to write off pretty much the whole scene.


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