The artist Robert Bonfils was born in Kansas City and attended the Kansas City Art Institute where one of his teachers was the painter Thomas Hart Benton. He then served a stint in the Army before continuing his studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. Bonfils was eventually hired by the prestigious advertising firm Stevens, Hall, Biondi. Here he did illustrations for children’s books, covers for Mercury record albums, and advertisements for Miller High Life Beer. In the 1960s, Bonfils started to paint the paperback book covers that he’s best remembered for. At the height of his career, he was painting 50 covers a month.
In 1995 Sylvester Stallone put up on the big-screen a film adaptation of a sci-fi property that has a fan following as rabid as any sci-fi franchise there is. I am talking about the character of Judge Dredd which calls the British comic book anthology series 2000 A.D. it’s home for the past 35 years and counting. The Stallone production was just awful from start to finish.
It’s now 2012 and we have what one can only call a reboot of the Judge Dredd film from 1995 but with screenwriter Alex Garland (28 Days Later, The Beach) writer the script and Pete Travis behind the director’s chair. Instead of Stallone reprising the role of the iconic Judge Dredd the job goes to genre vet Karl Urban (Lord of the Rings trilogy, Bourne Supremacy, Star Trek). We even get Lena Headey as the film’s main antagonist in drug crimelord of Mega-City One called simply by the moniker of Ma-Ma.
The first trailer shows some interesting design choices that veers away from the neogothic dystopian look of the comics and the overly comic book feel of the Stallone production. The look of Mega-City One and the film in general seems to be more akin to District 9. Another good thing the trailer shows and hopefully the film will follow through on is Urban never once taking off the Judge helmet his character wears in the film. Never once has Judge Dredd removed his helmet in the comics and if there was ever one heresy fans of the property would cry foul over it’s the character being seen helmet-less.
Here’s to hoping that this grittier take on the Judge Dredd property goes a long way in erasing the abomination that was the Stallone production.
Dredd 3Dis set for a September 21, 2012 release in the UK and soon after everywhere else.