If you build it, they will come, says the old proverb. Or in the case of Judge Dredd, if they don’t come, build it yourself. Dredd’s owner, Rebellion, is setting up its very own film and TV studio. Located in Didcot, West of London, the $100 million site used to be a printing press for the Daily Mail newspaper. Now, the computer games company has snapped up the whole place to covert it into studio space. And with the building’s large soundproofed spaces already in place, parts of the facility “will be ready for use within weeks”, reports Variety.
The purchase arrives as demand in a booming age of content has led to a shortage of supply when it comes to actually making the things people watch. Pinewood, Shepperton and Church Fenton are all expanding their facilities, but Rebellion is making a calculated jump to the front of the queue by investing in its own 220,000 square feet of studio space, complete with 25,000 square foot sound stage.
The acquisition marks a major leap forwards in the long-running battle to bring Dredd back to the screen, following the feature film starring Karl Urban. Jason Kingsley and his brother, Chris, who co-founded Rebellion, were both producers on the 2012 film. Last year, they announced Rebellion was developing a new TV series for the futuristic law enforcer, Judge Dredd: Mega-City One. Now, that series has a home.
Rebellion Studios has a script for its TV pilot already in hand and is shopping the show to potential broadcasters and streaming platforms. The studio will also be used to produce the Rogue Trooper film announced by Duncan Jones. Both are part of the 2000 AD comic book IP, which Rebellion bought from Egmont a while ago, joining such computer game series as Sniper Elite and Strange Brigade. Rogue Trooper will follow the blue, genetically engineered super-soldier and is being developed by the Source Code and Moon director along with Stuart Finnegan.
Rebellion’s arsenal of properties also, thanks to its acquisition of the TI Media library, ranges all the way back to 1888’s Comic Cuts.
“We have plans, we have a lot of scripts in development, we have got a lot of scripts written, we have pilots that are looking for people to work with, we have people going out to the U.S. to talk to the people who are the routes to market,” Jason Kingsley told Variety.
The move is a bold step in a marketplace that is seeing advancements in interactive entertainment, CGI visuals and cinematic video games.
“I think we are pretty good at creating content in all different types, screen content and interactive games and all sorts of stuff, and I’m hoping we’re going to be equally good at making TV and film,” added Jason.
“We’ve got a huge library of good stories, and we’ll do original stuff as well. We make computer games. VFX is an area we are looking at as well. There is a whole bunch of interesting stuff, but you do need the craft skills and you need facilities…and it is hard to find them. We were looking and couldn’t find anywhere to shoot the stuff we have ambitions to do.”
As well as its own slate of projects, Rebellion’s studio will be available to third parties too.