According to IMDb, there was a script for a Judge Dredd film back in the early '80's but the script was changed so many times that the script was eventually turned into the first Robocop film script and the Judge Dredd film was shelved.
Dredd never takes off the helmet, keeping true to the comic book character.
There are only two American actors in this movie (Olivia Thirlby and Wood Harris) even though the film takes place in America and was a British production. Most actors were really South African.
For Dredd's voice, Karl Urban based it off a description into the comics that said it was akin to a saw cutting through bone. Urban said that the voice was so gravelly and gruff that it was almost painful to talk all day. He joked that he had to drink a lot of whisky to keep up with it.
In the classroom in Peach Trees, as well as in the mall, the new American flag can be seen. It only has 5 stars representing the mega-states.
The Lawmaster motorcycles were actual functional bikes ridden by actors and stunt performers during filming. The original bike was customized by having the chassis extended and custom fairings added, as well as being fitted with the largest tires that would allow the motorcycle to remain operable. The look of the Lawmaster from the comics could not be replicated exactly, as that would make the bike undriveable. The large front fairing contained non-functional prop guns and a working screen for the navigation and communication system. All the lights on the bike were operational. Karl Urban also insisted on riding the bike himself.
Dredd was criticized for being too similar to another Indonesian film, "The Raid". However, Dredd was in development almost half a decade earlier, while The Raid was an independent film made quickly.
Peachtrees was actually named after a restaurant that the filmmakers were having dinner at discussing production for the film.
Ma-Ma was originally written as an obese elderly woman, but Lena Headey persuaded them to change her into a middle-aged woman with a misandric personality. For the role, Headey wore prosthetic teeth, spoke with an American accent and wore fake tattoos; although some of Ma-Ma's tattoos are Lena Headey's actual tattoos, most notably the flower on her upper right arm. The make-up artists took the design and expanded it to her neck and her face.
In Ma-Ma's penthouse there is a smashed Judge's helmet hanging on her wall with a length of gold chain attached to it, a nod to the comic design of Judge Dredd where the gold chain would link the badge to the uniform collar. This is also implying that Ma-Ma has killed at least one judge in her life.
One the best-selling Blu-Ray's ever, selling 750,000 units.
Alverez is the only Judge to use the special Judge shotgun, the Widowmaker. It is really a Beretta shotgun with a detachable box magazine and prop shell.
Every city block (excluding Peachtrees) is named after references from the Judge Dredd comics and other 2000 AD material.
The director of the 1995 Judge Dredd film admitted that this film was better than his version.
There are several references to "fatties" from the comic book (group of extremely obese people, many so obese they require a wheel under their stomach to move) - the first shooting victim of the escaping car chase occupant was a "fattie" lying next to his stomach wheel, there is also graffiti on the first shots of the skate ramp reads "Fatties rule!" and a cut to an extremely obese man during lock-down with a shirt with "fatties" on the front.
In 3D versions of the film, 3D effects such as blood are actually projected onto the bars outside the screen to enhance the illusion.
The currency used in Megacity future is known as "credits". A beggar at the entrance to Peach Trees block bears a sign "Homeless junkie will debase self for credits".
Karl Urban, who plays Dredd, is a huge fan of the Judge Dredd comics.
Madeline Madrigal was first arrested at age 16 on December 4, 2076 by Judge Reich for solicitation. Madeline then went on to have numerous other altercations with the law, serving a total of 23 months in the Iso-Cubes, a total of seven arrests.
Right before Dredd's famous "I am the law" speech to Ma-Ma, a sign can be seen on a Peach Trees restaurant near the comms booth reading "Eat and Get the Hell Out!"
Ma-Ma's quarters feature many souvenirs from when she took over Peach Trees, including a Judge helmet, possibly belonging to the Judge that arrested her, Reich.
Judge Reich was named after producer Allon Reich.
When the movie shows the comm interface map of the city, the ticker reads that Stumm Gas is being deployed to disrupt rioters at the Fergee Memorial. Later in the film Judge Hershey is mentioned on the ticker to be responding to the riot. Stumm Gas and Judge Hershey are both references to the 2000 AD comics. The Fergee Memorial is another nod to a character that was depicted in the original 2000AD Judge Dredd comic strip, taken from the classic comic storyline The Day The Law Died. It is not a reference to the singer and actress of a similar name, as is sometimes mistakenly believed.
The film rights took nearly two years to obtain because they went through several owners after the 1995 Disney version flopped.
In the scene right after Anderson interrogates Kay, there's a map of the world on the wall. Very prominent, in red, is the country of South Africa where the film was produced.
It took several years to design the slo-mo effects.
Much of the film's soundtrack from the slo-mo scenes is actually real music that has been slowed down thousands of percent.
Many of the weapons seen in the film are mocked-up to look futuristic, but there are some genuine modern firearms seen. One such weapon is the Armscor BXP, a 9mm South African submachine gun that is used by Ethan Zwirner.
The large building with shutters over its sides that Dredd drives past in the initial chase, is John Vorster Square police station. It is the station where the political activist Steve Biko died during police interrogation in 1977 and the shutters are bullet traps to stop terrorist attacks.
The Hall of Justice is actually the inside of the main campus for The University of Johannesburg - the old Rand Afrikaans University campus. Its massive Concrete Hallways are notoriously cold during wintertime.
The only American actors/actress' are Wood Harris and Olivia Thirlby. Every other actor or actress are British, South African or New Zealander (Urban).
There are no robots in this movie.
The following firing modes for the Lawgiver: Standard, Rapid Fire, Armour Piercing, Hot Shot, Incideary, High-Ex, and Stun. The Lawgiver was built around a Glock 17, a pistol used by real law enforcement.
The music you hear in the Computer room in Ma-Ma's penthouse is the theme song for BBC's "Snuff Box".
In almost every single scene there is something yellow. Yellow is one of Dredd's colors.
Duncan Jones was offered the film, but turned it down, not because he didn't like the Alex Garland script (Jones said it was great), but because Garland had such a strong idea of what he wanted to do with a Dredd movie, that he felt he could not bring himself to take it on and not do it his way.
Michael Biehn auditioned for the lead role.
There are a number of references to the original Dredd comics. The graffiti throughout Peach Trees contains the names of characters that appear in the Judge Dredd strip, such as Chopper and Kenny Who? The word Drokk is seen written on a backpack in the opening scene. The Judge that talks to the four crooked Judges just before they enter Peach Trees shows the name Volt on his badge. Judge Volt was a prominent character in the 2000 A.D. Judge Dredd comic. In one scene, there is a poster for the fictional film Krysler's Mark, a reference to Owen Krysler the Judge Child in the classic Dredd story written by John Wagner which introduced the Angel Gang. The poster says the film is directed by Ulf Suhrmuller, who is found out during the closing credits to be a real person and is listed as the Art Department Runner. And with the exception of Peach Trees, the city blocks are named after notable 2000 AD creators and characters.
Fans have noted many similarities between Ma-Ma and Scarface. For one, her face is scarred because of a knife attack, she worked her way up through the illegal drug trade, she has no mercy on her enemies and her accompanying comic is called "Top of the World", similar to "The World is Yours" from Scarface.
The film's body count is 101.
The code to Ma-Ma's penthouse is 4-9-4-3-6.
A bobble head of Judge Death can be seen in the vechile used by Zwirner in the opening.