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My Movie Week... with Mike Shaw

Karl Urban as Judge Dredd in Dredd 3D. Picture: PA Photo/Entertainment Films UK.
Karl Urban as Judge Dredd in Dredd 3D. Picture: PA Photo/Entertainment Films UK.

It’s the San Diego Comic-Con this week, which in recent years has become less about comics and more about movies – and not even comic book movies. It’s good for me though, because it means there’s a ton of interesting stories, like this one...

The follow-up to Man of Steel is going to include Batman. Boom.

Director Zack Snyder addressed the fans and teased something special before finally dropping the bomb. Taking the stage, he said: “I wanted to come up personally, because I know there’s been a lot of speculation about what we’re doing and I wanted it to come from me and say that it’s official that we’re going to do another Superman movie.

“I’m not going to tell you what it’s about, but I can say that maybe there’s a single element that will be in the film that I could help you out with...” and he continued to tease some more before introducing actor Harry Lennix who played General Swanwick in the recent Superman film.

Lennix recited the following: “I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember your hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.” That’s a quote from the Frank Miller comic book The Dark Knight Returns, and the assembled geeks – who recognised it instantly – went absolutely mental.

Then the Superman shield appeared with the Batman logo imposed behind it and the place went even crazier.

Since then, the official press release has arrived, which confirms that David S Goyer will be scripting the next film, and that while the film won’t be an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns, Miller’s iconic book (which features, among other things, a fight between Superman and an ageing Batman) will help them tell the story.

What’s more, it was confirmed that this will be a new Batman – not the one we’ve seen in the Christopher Nolan films.

So, huge news, and of course it could all go wrong, but if the casting is right and the tone is correct, this film could end up being DC Comics’ answer to Marvel’s mega-successful Avengers.

Industry experts had said for years that a film in which Superman and Batman co-star would be unlikely, but look where we are. Another film that apparently didn’t have much chance of happening was a sequel to last year’s Dredd. But, again, the fates have a different idea.

Thanks to strong home video sales and a good response from critics, actor Karl Urban said Dredd might get a follow-up after all.

Urban starred as Judge Dredd in the 2012 release, and says that he has met writer-producer Alex Garland and they are actively exploring the possibility of a sequel.

The film only earned about $36m at the box office after costing an estimated $45m. However, speaking at Comic-Con, Urban said: “It’s certainly my hope that we get to make more … clearly it has found an audience. The home video sales for Dredd just went through the roof. I think it sold 650,000 units in the first week.

“It’s amazing how these things occurred. Not to compare it directly to Blade Runner, but when Blade Runner came out it was a film that didn’t necessarily do what you thought that it should have done at the box office. I feel the same way about Dredd. The reviews were overwhelmingly fantastic… but for whatever reason it didn’t do the box office numbers that it should have.”

Yeah, it’s not Blade Runner, but he has a point. Sometimes it’s only after they leave the cinemas that these films begin to show their true worth. Now Dredd is available on Blu-ray and DVD, money is being made, proving that there is an audience out there. It’s now down to fans to keep up the momentum.

Urban said: “I think the more people that campaign for it, the more people that email, Twitter and write into Lionsgate and say ‘We want to see more of this,’ then the more likelihood is that we’ll get to see that. We certainly are doing everything we can to ensure that happens.”

You heard the man.

Gravity starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock
Gravity starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock

The strong pull of gravity

Also at Comic-Con, Alfonso Cuaron introduced new footage from Gravity - the space drama starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.

If you've been to the cinema in the last couple of weeks, you may have seen a short trailer for the film, and the new clip is being described in terms like "breath-taking'' and "ground-breaking'', and other things that don't rhyme.

The film hits cinemas in October, and I absolutely cannot wait.

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