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Is the Dredd 3D script based on a specific Judge Dredd comic? I ask because I find the number of egregious similarities to the Indonesian martial arts film, Serbuan Maut, quite striking. The fact that both films have strong British connections has left me wondering: which came first?

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No, it is not based on any particular issue or storyline. The writers just tried to keep it true to the character and the world of the comic.

According to an interview with the writers:

Q: Alex, why did you choose to tell this particular story? It doesn’t appear to be based on any particular story from the comics: were there any touchstones?

A: It was quite a protracted process really. The first crack I had at the script was Judge Death. That didn’t work out, essentially because it’s very hard to tell that story, which is a sort of riff on the whole Judge system, without having previously set that system up. It presupposed too much knowledge on the part of the viewer, and it’s also deeply surreal and extreme in a lot of ways. So that first script just taught us that we needed to be more grounded and focused. There were others we considered, like Origins and the Pro-Democracy Terrorists [America], but instead of going for one of those really big, well-known stories, what I ended up doing was basing it on the kind of stories that John would do not as the big, long epics, but more like the day-in-the-life, shorter strips, which are basically about Dredd just as a cop in this dystopian city. It took a fair bit of getting to that point. I started writing Dredd when we were in post-production on Sunshine and pre-production on 28 Weeks Later. I finished the first draft on the set of 28 Weeks Later. So it’s been a long haul.

Regarding any similarities... As noted in the interview, the first draft of the script (which, was admittedly largely unused) was written while on the set of 28 Weeks Later which was released in 2007. According to Wikipedia, work on Serbuan Maut was started after their work on Merantau, which was released in 2009. Filming of Sebuan Maut began in March 2011 while filming of Dredd began in November 2010, according to Wikipedia. So, even discounting the fact that the Dredd comic dates back to 1977, the story used for the most recent Dredd movie was almost certainly written before the one used for Serbuan Maut.

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  • Yes, because when basing your film on an iconic character, the important thing is to ignore all of the stories that made him famous.
    – Valorum
    Jan 21, 2019 at 12:07

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