Dredd featurette tours dystopia

Lionsgate has posted a new featurette for its upcoming dystopian police thriller, Dredd.

Dredd is based on Judge Dredd, a comic book line depicting a dystopian future in which the police have become the ultimate authorities in criminal matters. Population is so dense, and crime so rampant that punishment for nearly any crime is death, and the ‘Judges’ are responsible for doling out that death immediately and with no formal trial.

Dredd kicked off as an anti-hero comics character with a deep mythology, and a hardcore social message, but the Stalone film did the concept little credit, turning it into a pure action flick. There are so many franchises which, when adapted into action films during the 80’s and 90’s, were taken too far from their original themes and attitudes. The new film is intended to adopt a more source-accurate look at the story and character.

The new featurette offers up a few new clips from the film, alongside numerous stills from the comics and interviews with the cast and crew.

Judging by the new trailer, it seems like the filmmakers have spent a lot of time paying attention to the character and his motivations – even taking the time to understand the history of the comics line and the themes it often focused on.

The official synopsis is thus:

The future America is an irradiated waste land. On its East Coast, running from Boston to Washington DC, lies Mega City One- a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. Known and feared throughout the city, Dredd (Karl Urban) is the ultimate Judge, challenged with ridding the city of its latest scourge – a dangerous drug epidemic that has users of “Slo-Mo” experiencing reality at a fraction of its normal speed.

During a routine day on the job, Dredd is assigned to train and evaluate Cassandra Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), a rookie with powerful psychic abilities thanks to a genetic mutation. A heinous crime calls them to a neighborhood where fellow Judges rarely dare to venture- a 200 story vertical slum controlled by prostitute turned drug lord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) and her ruthless clan. When they capture one of the clan’s inner circle, Ma-Ma overtakes the compound’s control center and wages a dirty, vicious war against the Judges that proves she will stop at nothing to protect her empire. With the body count climbing and no way out, Dredd and Anderson must confront the odds and engage in the relentless battle for their survival.

And here’s the theatrical trailer:

Dredd hits theaters September 21, 2012.