DREDD Director Pete Travis Kicked out of the Editing Room; Screenwriter Alex Garland May Seek Co-Director Credit [UPDATED]

     October 7, 2011



The Judge Dredd reboot, Dredd, seemed to be going well.  Karl Urban was playing the title role and the film promised to be more faithful to the original comics than the awful 1995 adaptation starring Sylvester Stallone.  For those unfamiliar with Judge Dredd, the story takes place in a dystopian future where the law is carried out by “Judges” who are “judge, jury, and executioner” for all criminals.  The film was shooting in 3D in Johannesburg for a September 21, 2012 release.

However, 24 Frames is now reporting that director Pete Travis (Vantage Point) has been locked out of the editing phase and the process is being handled by screenwriter and producer Alex Garland (28 Days Later).  According to 24 Frames, “Creative disagreements with producers and executives in charge of the film reached a boiling point,” and that, ” sources said it arose when Travis and producers and executives in charge of the production did not see eye-to-eye on footage Travis was delivering.”  However, other sources say that “although Travis is no longer involved in postproduction, he is keeping up with progress via the Internet and has not been pushed aside.”  Hit the jump for more. [Garland and Travis have released a joint response to this story.  Hit the jump for the quote.]

Cutting the director out the editing phase is always a bit troubling but it doesn’t necessarily lead to a poor film.  There was some contention involving director Stephen Sommers and the editing of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, but that film turned out fine.  However, if the person who was in charge of the film is no longer deemed capable of taking it to the finish line, it’s usually a sign that the producers are unhappy with the rough cut or the dailies.

But with Dredd, Garland’s work may have been so extensive that he may seek a co-director credit even though he didn’t shoot any of the footage to date (although there’s still the possibility of reshoots).  It’s unusual for a co-director credit to be added at a later date, but this doesn’t necessarily mean Dredd is a flop.  Garland isn’t an outsider to the production and it’s possible that Travis didn’t capture the tone Garland laid out in his script.  At least we can all rest easy knowing that no matter how the final film turns out, we will all be spared the “comic relief” of Rob Schneider.

Travis and Garland have released a joint statement to 24 Frames on the matters:

“During all stages of the filmmaking, ‘Dredd’ has been a collaboration between a number of dedicated creative parties.  From the outset we decided on an unorthodox collaboration to make the film.  This situation has been misinterpreted.  To set the record straight, Pete was not fired and remains a central part of the collaboration, and Alex is not seeking a co-director credit.  We are all extremely proud of the film we have made, and respectfully suggest that it is judged on viewing when its released next year.”

I don’t know if this is damage control but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe that the matter was “misinterpreted”.


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