Firstly can you tell us how you got involved with the Judge Minty project
Steven Sterlacchini approached me at Hi-Ex in 2009 with the idea that
I’d look over his script and maybe make a few suggestions. I’d written
for movies and TV before – never had anything made, but I did get
paid! – so I did have some experience.
You’re listed as co-writer with director Steven Sterlacchini. Is this your
first collaborative project and how did the process work? Were you on from
day one or were you working on an already established storyline?
I’ve collaborated with other writers from time to time, and to be
honest it’s usually harder than writing solo, mostly because the other
writer is always wrong unless he agrees with me… But with Judge
Minty it was different, because I was aware from the start that this
was a “work-for-hire” assignment (only without the money!). it’s
Steven’s show and he’s the boss, so I was happy enough for him to make
drastic alterations to my script, or even to jettison it completely if
he didn’t like it.
Steven had the basics of the story already nailed down with his first
draft, so my job was to flesh it out and plump it up a bit. More
recently, I provided eight pages worth of lines for the background
dialogue, most of which I’m sure won’t even be noticed by the casual
viewer! Oh, and I also provided something else, but I’ll keep a lid on
that one for now…
Having read the script it seems very ambitious in terms of scope. Was it
always like this or did it evolve from something simpler?
Steven’s original draft was definitely simpler and shorter than the
final product, though I suspect that was partly because he knew he was
funding it himself, so he held back from adding in too much. For my
draft, I decided to assume that the budget was limitless – I threw in
everything, because I knew that if it was at all possible, the guys
would find a way to make it work.
How does writing for Judge Minty compare with writing for the actual prog
While a comic script and a movie script can look quite similar,
they’re really very different. With a comic strip I work from my own
story, and I have complete control over that script, with the proviso
that there’s a limited number of pages. With the Minty script, I was
working with Steven’s established story as the basis so I couldn’t
change too much. It was always going to be about Judge Minty on his
Being that it is essentially a fan film, was there a need to make it
accessable for people with no idea of Dredd’s history or were you able to
aim it directly at the existing fanbase?
I think we’ve accomplished both. Viewers unfamiliar with the Dredd
universe shouldn’t have any trouble following the story, and for those
who are already fans… there’s a couple of very cool moments that are
going to have them cheering like crazy!
If 2000AD were to go for a crossover, would you be up for writing a Judge
Minty story for the Megazine and if so, do you have any ideas where you’d
I certainly do! I can’t talk about them, of course, because I never
discuss any of my ideas before I write them, but there is certainly
room for a lot more stories… Wish I could say more than that!
I know you enjoyed the new Dredd movie. Do you think your approach to Judge
Minty would have changed at all had you seen that first?
That’s a tough one… I don’t know. The new Dredd movie is absolutely
excellent, but it’s its own entity separate from the comics. Judge
Minty is firmly rooted in the original story from prog 147, so it’s
important to keep that established look and feel of Dredd’s universe.
With a few wise tweaks, of course, such as putting the Judges’ guns on
their hips and not their boots.
Given a free hand there are other aspects of the Judge uniform that
I’d be very tempted to change… The shoulder pads are just too big
and awkward. Sure, they look cool in the comic, but it’s not easy to
get them to work in real life. My hat’s off to Daniel Carey-George for
actually making the uniforms look so good!
As a 2000AD fan yourself and being immersed in the stories, chronology and
settings what would you leap at the chance to use as a basis for another fan
Someone needs to make a fan-film version of my Judge Dredd story
“Caterpillars”! Seriously, the universe will be completely
out-of-whack until that gets made. Maybe if there aren’t any fans
interested in making that one, then if there’s a sequel to the new
Dredd movie the film-makers could do it like the Marvel One-Shot
Aside from Dredd… In a couple of years there should be more toys – I
mean, collectables – from 3A, so someone could make a neat little
stop-motion A.B.C. Warriors short!
Rogue Trooper is another good property ripe for fan-film exploitation:
a straightforward adventure of Rogue on Nu-Earth could be great and
probably not too expensive to make (they wouldn’t necessarily have to
go into the whole back-story).
I dont know how much, if any, of the completed project you’ve seen, but what
have been your impressions so far?
I’ve recently seen a rough-cut of pretty much the whole movie. This
was before the ADR was done so the sound wasn’t great, and many of the
effects had yet to be completed, but all the live-action scenes were
there and all in the right order as far as I could tell, so it was
easy to follow the story… And my impression is that it is very, very
good! Edmund Dehn is perfect as Minty, and Greg Staples does a very
convincing Dredd. The muties are great, too, especially Mark Watson –
you have to see him in action to get just how good he is! The
completed effects are stunning – the Lawmaster is absolutely amazing!
Lastly can you tell us what else you’ve got in the pipeline and if the best
way people can keep up with what you are working on.
In the pipeline… More Dredds, more issues of the Jennifer Blood:
First Blood mini-series for Dynamite, more YA superhero novels… And
lots of things that I can’t talk about right now! The best way to keep
tabs on my work is to check out my website at
http://www.michaelowencarroll.com or follow @quantumprophecy on Twitter!
A big thanks to Mike for taking the time to answer these questions. I have two more of these to sort out and will post up as soon as I do.