In Real Life

Karl Urban Talks Judge Dredd, And Why Most Video Game Movies Aren't Up To Scratch

Karl Urban knows a thing or two about movies based on video games. He’s been in one. He’s also been in Star Trek, The Bourne Supremacy and now Judge Dredd.

Given that Karl Urban starred in the not-quite-as-bad-as-other-game-to-movie-conversions-but-still-quite-bad Doom, we figured he might have a rough idea why filmmakers have struggled to translate video game stories to the big screen.

“Well I mean, it’s a good question,” he says. “I think that the key to making a good film is doing more than creating action sequence after action sequence, which is fundamentally what video games are.

“Character development — the human aspect — is one of the most important elements of the film because it speaks to the audience, and there aren’t that many video game adaptations that get the story right. You need a fully 3-dimensional character with an arc — if you don’t have that then movies will just descend into one set piece after the next.”

Karl’s latest project is a film based on a comic book property and, comic books have somehow managed to translate successfully across to the big screen. Is it possible for video games to make a similar transition?



“I wouldn’t have a clue mate,” he admits. “It’s a leap of faith. Again it depends on the creatives involved and what they come up with. I certainly always hope for the best. I’m acutely aware of the time energy and money that goes into making films, so you certainly hope that it works.”

Karl Urban is in Australia for the release of Judge Dredd, and has just wrapped up the sequel to Star Trek. He won’t tell us anything about that movie besides the fact it’s “multicoloured and epic”! But would he ever consider acting in another game to film conversion?

“It would entirely depend on the script,” he says.


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