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October 15, 2012

Dredd 3D: Filmed in Cape Town

Judge Dredd is one of many films to be shot in Cape Town in the past few years

Since its release worldwide in September the 3D movie Dredd, shot entirely on location in Cape Town and Johannesburg, is still receiving a lot of attention.

Dredd is a remake of the 1995 Sylvester Stallone movie Judge Dredd and is the first major production film shoot at the Cape Town Film Studio.

The movie is set in future America and in Mega City One – a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only order lies with the urban cops called "judges" who have the powers of judge, jury and executioner. Dredd is the ultimate judge and has to fight a drug gang that is killing hundreds of people. A key sequence involving gang leader Ma-Ma required 10 days of filming and eight sets inside and outside the Cape Town.

Filming began on November 12, 2010 and took place over 14 weeks. Lead actor, Karl Urban, spent four months in the Mother City during filming and came back for the South African release of the film. 

The movie also stars Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey and a number of South African actors such as Jason Cope, Warrick Grier, Junior Singo and Langley Kirkwood. Urban has expressed a hope to return to South Africa, and the possibility of a Dredd sequel.

In an interview with Channel24 Urban said the studios were a world-class facility and the South African crew great to work with.

“I had a thoroughly fantastic time here. I took my family on safari. Met a lot of really wonderful people,” he said in an interview with the Cape Times newspaper.

He was not the only member of the filming crew who had praise for the city. Alex Garland, a writer and producer of the movie said: "We had an excellent experience working at Cape Town Film Studios. Nico and his team were immensely helpful to the production and provided a superb and highly efficient studio environment in which to shoot. In addition, the local South African crew was first-rate. The whole experience was extremely positive and we would readily do it again."

Dredd is not the only movie to be shot in South Africa. Clint Eastwood's Invictus (2009), with Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, Blood Diamond (2006), with Leonardo DiCaprio, Lord of War (2005), with Nicolas Cage and Flashbacks of a Fool (2008) with Daniel Craig, to mention just a few, have all been filmed here.

Times Magazine has cited low cost, the versatility and convenience of locations within a few hours' drive of Cape Town as the key factors to South Africa's movie-making appeal.

Thanks to films such as Dredd, Cape Town has become an international movie star. 

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