We could soon see further games and/or movies based on 2000 AD characters, including Judge Dredd. Perhaps even a much-rumoured TV show to could air on a streaming service, such as Netflix, Amazon Video or HBO.
After years of rumours and speculation, it is understood that an announcement could finally come this year.
When speaking to 2000 AD owner and publisher Rebellion about the possibility of the comic's licences making it to TV, Dredd specifically, Pocket-lint was told the company is "strongly moving in that direction". It also told us that it hopes to "be talking about it in a bit more detail" later this year.
So, based on conversations we've had with Rebellion and rumoured details from elsewhere, here is what we know about a possible Judge Dredd TV show or movie sequel so far.
Dredd 2: What is it?
Ever since Dredd 3D graced our cinema screens in 2012 there have been calls for a sequel. A petition was even created by 2000 AD and Rebellion to bring the rebooted movie version of Judge Dredd back for another outing.
Then last year, it was suggested that while a new film is still being explored, a Dredd TV series was also being discussed, with rumours suggesting interest from Netflix, Amazon and HBO. Original star Karl Urban even said that he'd like to don the helmet again on TV or film.
Those rumours were stoked further during Denver Comic Con in the summer of 2016, when Urban hinted that Dredd 2 was in development. But the Star Trek actor subsequently clarified on Twitter that wasn't quite the case: "Unfortunately a sequel is no closer to happening," he wrote on 22 June. "Options have been discussed but there is no sequel in development."
Dredd update : Unfortunately a sequel is no closer to happening , options have been discussed but there is no sequel in " development " .— Karl Urban (@KarlUrban) June 22, 2016
At the same time, Pocket-lint learned that talks about a Dredd sequel and/or a full Dredd TV series were ongoing. Rebellion co-founder and CEO Jason Kingsley revealed as much during E3 2016. Something he reiterated in February 2017, when we spoke to him again.
Dredd 2: Announcement plans
As well as head the development of games like Sniper Elite 4 and Battlezone, Kingsley had approval over many of the props and details during the filming of Dredd 3D, so was a pivotal figure in the film's genesis and creation. He is also among those with final approval over any future use of 2000 AD licences.
At E3, he talked candidly with us about the status of a new Dredd movie or TV show.
"We really want to get more TV stuff made and movie stuff made. There's stuff happening in the background that's really exciting," he told us at the time.
"We're a long way from anything announcing, but we're working hard on that.
When we caught up with him again in February 2017, on the eve of the launch of Sniper Elite 4 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, he elaborated further about the progression of plans for Dredd's new big or small screen outings.
"We are strongly moving in that direction," he explained.
"Nothing has been announced yet but we are very, very keen on doing more with the huge depth of 2000 AD licences that we’ve got.
"We have to work out how to get more, cool 2000 AD stuff out to the marketplace. And hopefully, later on this year, that will be something we’ll be talking about in a bit more detail."
It was partly tempting to make an announcement during 2000 AD's 40th anniversary celebrations in February, we were told, but was never likely to happen.
"Practically speaking, these things are very hard to time. There are always things bubbling around in the background and if things had happened naturally, at the right time, then we’d have held back an announcement to coincide with the 40th anniversary," said Kingsley.
"It hasn’t been that way though and we didn’t want to force that."
Dredd 2: Release date
Until the official announcement therefore, it is impossible to put a release date on any project. However, we do know why Rebellion is taking its sweet time. It's a very good reason.
The company rightfully insists that, whoever takes on Judge Dredd or any other 2000 AD licence, they show it respect and do it right.
"As a reader of 2000 AD, I want there to be more games, films and TV shows. But these things are quite hard to do right," said Kingsley.
"Quite a lot of people want to work with us on our brands, but if you don’t control it, you’ll get rubbish. I don’t want a bad television series to come out. I don’t want a bad movie to come out. I don’t want a bad game. So we’re being a bit cautious about who we work with and how we get things to the market.
"I do get asked it a lot and there will be 2000 AD fans asking for more, but the simple answer is that we want to be careful. We have to do the brand justice. Just like we did with the Dredd movie with DNA. Those guys did a fantastic job and it was a critically well-acclaimed movie.
"When you’re doing licensed work, you need creativity but it has to be firmly set within the boundaries of what the brand is. For example, with Judge Dredd, we must never see his upper face. That’s part of the brand. If we were going to do something with Rogue Trooper, he has to be blue, because that’s what he is."
Hear hear! We do not want another Stallone Judge Dredd, that's for sure.
Dredd 2: Storylines
Considering we're still awaiting details, it's far too early to discuss storylines and settings for a new Dredd show or movie. However, Kingsley believes a television series would have the greatest potential.
"Dredd's world deserves a TV show. Several probably. Several box sets, actually. Six at least," he partly joked during E3 2016.
"You could tell so many stories. There are so many brilliant epics. You could imagine one series of Dredd doing another Cursed Earth run."
We'd love to see a series based on the Judge Child quest too.
Dredd 2: Cast
Kingsley also told us in June last year that, should Judge Dredd come back to our screens, big or small, Urban is still his first choice to be the lead.
"Karl's a great guy, we know him well," he said.
"He's a big 2000 AD fan - a genuine 2000 AD fan. People say they're a 2000 AD fan but you ask them about details and they start to go all twitchy. Karl though is genuine. I think he brought that to the character, his childhood interpretation of it."
Anyone who's seen Dredd 3D will agree. As for the rest of the cast, we'll bring you more as details are released.
Hopefully that won't be too long now.