Exclusive: Karl Urban Talks JUDGE DREDD, STAR TREK 2, and RED at Comic-Con; Confirms He’s Been Offered DREDD and a Lot More!

by     Posted 4 years, 61 days ago

Earlier today I got to sit down with Karl Urban after the Red press conference for an exclusive interview.  Since I spoke to him on the set of Red for a very long time and got answers on why he wanted to get involved in Red and what it was like on set, at the beginning of the interview we covered some of the new developments on the project but then we jumped into something I really wanted to know: is he going to be the new Judge Dredd (we reported the rumor yesterday) and what’s up with the sequel to J.J. Abrams Star Trek.

The good news is Urban was down to talk about anything and he gave me some awesome updates on both projects.  The big news on Star Trek is he’s heard they start filming next summer. He specifically said May or June.  And regarding Judge Dredd…he said he’s definitely been offered the role and they are right now working out the deal.  He also said the plan is to shoot in South Africa in late October or early November and for fans of the source material, he said the film it will be very faithful and he will NOT be taking off the mask in the film!  So much more after the jump!

Further down the page I’ve got the complete transcript with audio, but here’s some of the highlights on his future projects:

Judge Dredd

Has been offered the part by director Pete Travis and they are working out the deal right now. His exact quote:

“I’ve met with Pete Travis, Andrew McDonald and we’ve had a really wonderful meeting of the minds and long story short, they have offered me the role and we’re in the process of making that happen.”

Says, “To have the opportunity to play such an iconic and enigmatic character as Joe Dredd is a phenomenal opportunity and I’m really thrilled and looking forward to getting into it.”

They are going to shoot Dredd in South Africa in late October or early November

Confirms the character will use “great ironic witty one liners set in this futuristic post apocalyptic world.”

Regarding the rating, I asked him if he’s heard if it’s PG-13 or R. Urban said, “I’m honestly not too sure. I have just heard and it’s my understanding that it going to be harder, grittier, and above all faithful to the comic.”

He also confirmed he’s ALWAYS going to be wearing the Mask! If you see his face, it will only be part of it.  His response was:

“If anyone is familiar with Dredd, over the years there are many times when Dredd removes his helmet but you never fully see his face and that was construct by the creator, Mr. Wagner. He represents that faceless system of justice and law. I will say this, hypothetically if I went to a movie that was called “Judge Dredd” and the character or the actor who played Judge Dredd took the helmet and I would see his full face and features I would puke in my popcorn because that’s not Dredd. He’s mysterious and enigmatic. We’re going to do it right.”

Star Trek sequel

Regarding when it’s going to shoot, Urban said it’s “most likely going to happen mid next year. May or June next year.”

He believes J.J. will direct the sequel. He said:

“I haven’t heard anything. I certainly hope so. Knowing J.J. I think he will have a pretty tough time handing this baby off to someone off. He was such an instrumental force of nature in delivering that film and creating those characters and ensuring that the Star Trek that was released was not some vacuous special effects extravaganza and that it was a character driven film. My hopes are that he will come back to the director’s char.”

Other Films

Says he is NOT involved in the next Final Destination movie. He is also not involved with Relentless and Hired Guns.

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And with that, here’s the entire interview from Comic-Con.  If you’d like to listen to the interview, click here.  Otherwise I’ve provided the full transcript below.

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Collider: The second trailer for Red just went online today. When you’re making a movie you never know how its going to turn out. In my opinion both trailers look just awesome and great. So, are you just feeling really good about the movie right now?

Red-movie-poster-Karl-UrbanKarl Urban: As good as I can considering that I haven’t seen the movie myself. I’ve seen excerpts of it. The buzz is phonemically good. The producers tested the film two nights ago and it went ballistic. It got high 90s. They’re just crazy about how well the film tested so that’s a really good sign for everybody. I feel very positive and I can’t wait to see it.

Have you not done ADR?

Urban:  Yeah, I’ve done ADR but you don’t get to see the whole film. You just get to see your portions you just go “hey wait a minute! Can you play the whole scene? I need to get a feel of it” while doing your lines. From what I’ve seen it’s super funny and there is great action it. It’s just insane. The cast we have on this film is just ballistic.

In the trailer we get pieces of this gnarly fight between you and Bruce Willis

Urban:  It’s gnarly. That is a great word to describe it. It is nothing but gnarly. It’s brutal.

How long did you guys film that sequence? Did you get injured? How was it to train for it?

Urban:  To tell you the truth, I’m still sore from it. I’m not shitting this. This is no bullshit. I still have shoulder issues from that fight. That’s how intense it was. The training was about 3 weeks and then we shot it at least of over a period of 4-5 weeks. Obviously not consecutively but we come do portions of it, go away and shoot something else, and then come back. It was quite a long engagement. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.  It was actually being able to pick up Bruce willis and throw him across the room and see him smash into furniture. I mean it doesn’t get better than that.

That’s fantastic. Is that sequence in the middle or end of the film? Where can people look forward to seeing it? Or is that too much of a spoiler?

Urban:  About middle of the film

I definitely want to switch gears. We’re here at Comic-Con. You’ve been asked a million questions I’m sure today. So what do you actually want to talk about? What’s going on with you? What have you been able to geek out about over here?

Urban:  To tell you the truth, I just arrived here this morning and went straight into doing press. So I haven’t actually had the opportunity to get on the floor and have a good look around, which I am going to do.

Are you going to wear a mask or go out as you?

Urban:  I have this great theory. I think I should go out dressed as one of my characters like Eomer from Lord of the Rings or Bones. Fully get the costume on. I could actually walk around incognito and I’ll be like “Yeah. I’ve had the surgery. I look just like him, right?” I’m reckon’ I could pretty much go around incognito

That would be unbelievable

Karl UrbanUrban:  I could do it. Peter Jackson gave me the helmet from Lord of the Rings so I could totally do it.

Honest to god, if you could do that, I would be very impressed. I really would. Before I run out of time with you, let’s just throw the rumor of the day out there on the table. I don’t know if you’ve been asked this yet today. It broke yesterday that you might be doing Judge Dredd

Urban:  I heard that.

Is there any truth to the rumor?

Urban:  Well, it’s in its very, very early days, but I feel pretty safe to say “Yes. I am the law.” I’ve met with Pete Travis, Andrew McDonald and we’ve had a really wonderful meeting of the minds and long story short, they have offered me the role and we’re in the process of making that happen. You know, 25 years ago when I was working in a pizza parlor I was introduced to the character and the comic of Judge Dredd and it’s something that is pretty dear to my heart. To have the opportunity to play such an iconic and enigmatic character as Joe Dredd is a phenomenal opportunity and I’m really thrilled and looking forward to getting into it.

Did they tell you when they actually want to shoot this movie?

Urban:  I believe it’s slated to start shooting in late October or early November in South Africa.

This is before your commitment to Star Trek 2?

Urban:  Oh yeah. Star Trek 2 is most likely going to happen mid next year. May or June next year

Yeah there was a lot of talk it might be January.

Urban:  I think it was for awhile. First of all, I think J.J. has commitments to direct another film before that. I think that it’s great because it really gives J.J., Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and the team at Paramount a good amount of time to invest in the characters and the story.  It’s fantastic because the first film was just phenomenally received and now we have to raise the bar.

Without a doubt.  I have to ask you one more question about Judge Dredd. Do you know if they are going for PG, PG-13, or R? Do you know what kind of tone they are going for?

Urban:  I’m honestly not too sure. I have just heard and it’s my understanding that it going to be harder, grittier, and above all faithful to the comic.

One of my writers told me today, and this could be completely wrong, that the goal of the movie is to always see Judge Dredd in the mask. Is that true?

Urban:  Uh…no. Well, I mean here’s the thing…In the script that Pete is going to direct it’s very faithful to the comic book character. If anyone is familiar with Dredd, over the years there are many times when Dredd removes his helmet but you never fully see his face and that was construct by the creator, Mr. Wagner. He represents that faceless system of justice and law. I will say this, hypothetically if I went to a movie that was called “Judge Dredd” and the character or the actor who played Judge Dredd took the helmet and I would see his full face and features I would puke in my popcorn because that’s not Dredd. He’s mysterious and enigmatic. We’re going to do it right.

That’s really cool to hear. To be honest with you, if it was a different actor or person possibly playing the character they might say “I do want my face on screen” but you’re saying it’s all about the character.

Urban:  You know what? This Dredd is not going to be wrapped up in ego. This Dredd is going to be faithful. The cool thing about Dredd to me was that with Dredd you always know where he stands. His attitudes are strong. What he does is strong. He’s an iconic badass tough lawman with great ironic witty one liners set in this futuristic post apocalyptic world. I’m very excited about seeing this authentic and faithful adaption of that character and world on the screen.

I was looking at your IMDB page which is, of course, always accurate.

Urban:  (laughs) There is a bunch of films on there that I’m not doing.

I wanted to ask you specifically…next to your name is the next Final Destination.  Are you involved with that?

Urban:  No. That’s not true. There is a movie on there called Relentless, that’s not true. There is a movie on there called Hired Guns, that’s not true. That’s all crap. I’ve been asking for years to take that off but they haven’t

I’ve heard many actors and directors mention the exact same thing.

Urban:  Yeah.

I have to ask you, obviously the big thing that everyone wants to know is J.J. Abrams. Do you think in your gut that he is going to come back and do the sequel to Star Trek?

Urban:  I haven’t heard anything. I certainly hope so. Knowing J.J. I think he will have a pretty tough time handing this baby off to someone off. He was such an instrumental force of nature in delivering that film and creating those characters and ensuring that the Star Trek that was released was not some vacuous special effects extravaganza and that it was a character driven film. My hopes are that he will come back to the director’s char.

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