Since Dredd was released in 2012, many fans have speculated that writer Alex Garland – whose latest directorial effort, Annihilation, is currently in theaters – also directed the movie, despite Pete Travis being credited. In a recent interview with JoBlo, Dredd star Karl Urban set the record straight, confirming our suspicions in the process. Garland is one of the most talented writers working today, and Dredd was just too damn good to be directed by Pete Travis. Looking at Travis’ filmography, Dredd is something of an anomaly in the sense that, well, it’s actually really good. Sizing it up against movies like Vantage Point or Endgame, there’s an obvious discrepancy in quality that went unaccounted for.
According to a recent interview with JoBlo:
“A huge part of the success of Dredd is in fact due to Alex Garland and what a lot of people don’t realize is that Alex Garland actually directed that movie.”
“I just hope when people think of Alex Garland’s filmography that Dredd is the first film that he made before Ex Machina. You think about it in those terms; it goes Dredd, Ex Machina, Annihilation.”
Rumors of Travis’ involvement, or lack thereof, sprouted in 2011 when the director was reportedly kicked out of the editing room during post-production. The rumors were disputed when the production released a statement saying, “During all stages of the filmmaking, Dredd has been a collaboration between a number of dedicated creative parties. From the outset, we decided on an unorthodox collaboration to make the film. This situation has been misinterpreted. To set the record straight, Pete was not fired and remains a central part of the collaboration, and Alex is not seeking a co-director credit. We are all extremely proud of the film we have made, and respectfully suggest that it is judged on viewing when its released next year.” Regardless, many saw right through the statement, calling it routine damage control. Turns out, they weren’t far off from the truth.
In fact, a 2011 report from 24 Frames might have gotten closer to the real story when they wrote:
“Creative disagreements with producers and executives in charge of the film reached a boiling point,” and that, “sources said it arose when Travis and producers and executives in charge of the production did not see eye-to-eye on footage Travis was delivering.” However, other sources say that “although Travis is no longer involved in postproduction, he is keeping up with progress via the Internet and has not been pushed aside.”
We’re never going to know for sure what happened on that set, but most of the stories seem to revolve around Travis just not being up to task, with Garland taking over in the editing room. If anything, Garland probably took the footage that Travis had been handing in to fashion something watchable out of it, especially since his name was going to be on the project and he, for all intents and purposes, was probably a better filmmaker than Travis before even directing a film on his own. With Ex Machina and Annihilation, we’ve confirmed that this is most likely the case, so it’s best that Garland took over when he did.
Annihilation is in theaters now!