EXCLUSIVE: The best way to get Cannes buyers hot and bothered is to come to market with a branded property that has potentially big commercial appeal, cool elements and a reasonable budget. Here’s one that fits that bill: Andrew Macdonald’s DNA Films has made a deal with India-based Reliance Big Entertainment and IM Global to finance Judge Dredd, a 3D film that was scripted by Alex Garland, and will be directed by Pete Travis, best known for Vantage Point and Omagh. The film will be shopped at the festival by IM Global, in the first collaboration since Reliance bought a majority stake in Stuart Ford’s foreign sales company. While Judge Dredd is perhaps best remembered for the forgettable 1995 action film that starred Sylvester Stallone, Macdonald went back to the franchise’s DNA to completely overhaul the film and bring it back to its origins as the UK comic created by John Wagner and illustrated by Carlos Ezquerra. Dredd is set in a futuristic world filled with violence, and the character is empowered to act as judge, jury and executioner. Garland’s best known for writing the novel The Beach, and scripting the Danny Boyle-directed scifi film Sunshine and 28 Days Later. He also wrote the script for a movie version of the Microsoft game Halo that was scrapped by Universal and Fox. The budget’s under $50 million, I’m told. This is the kind of project that you would normally find at a studio. This one looked like it would be done under DNA’s deal at Fox, but that deal’s going away, and Fox let this one loose.
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