Judge Dredd Movie Timeline
1908 to 1998 - The Der Zischen, a small family cabal based in Luxembourg, maintained covert control over countries and conflicts during these years, creating organised chaos according to their own agenda. They hid behind the facade of two corporations, ostensibly as manufacturers of soft drinks, yet their true identities remained unknown even in the 22nd century. (Judge Dredd movie novelisation)
2070 – The Apocalypse War* devastates much of the planet, with only mega-cities providing haven for what remains of human civilisation. ABC robots are used in the war alongside human soldiers. Outside of the cities, mutants, criminals, robots and some humans struggle to survive in what is now called the Cursed Earth. (Crumley & Hunter script)
2099 – The Janus project is implemented by the Council of Five. Genetic samples are taken from all five, with Fargo’s being selected to create the perfect judge. Weaknesses were screened out and stronger traits enhanced. Two clones are created: Joseph and Rico. As they grow older, neither is informed of his origins. (Judge Dredd movie)
Late 2110’s – The two brothers finish their training at the academy, with both becoming good friends. (Judge Dredd movie)
2129 - Victor Visconti, a mobster involved in a number of rackets, makes an attempt on Judge Ironside's life. Although nothing is ever proved to incriminate the mobster, Ironside is left with severe paralysis. (Judge Dredd: Lawman of the Future)
2130 – The Janus Project is halted after Rico commits murder, now showing his psychotic side openly. Dredd judges him and Rico is allegedly killed, but is, in reality, confined to a solitary cell in Aspen Prison. All information placed under a security lock that only the authorisation of all five Council members can unlock. Judge Griffin keeps the Janus facility open, but without the full data, it is near useless. (Judge Dredd movie)
2133 – Two Cursed Earth refugees try to break into Mega-City One through an incinerator outlet: they fail, but their plan is feasible. (Judge Dredd movie)
Mid 2130’s – Dr Fribb of Charles Darwin Block, manages to isolate the gene for evolutionary development within organisms, developing an enzyme that will reverse its effects. Unfortunately, he regresses back into an orang-utan and wrecks his own lab, allowing the compound’s fumes to contaminate the rest of the block. Judge Dredd investigates, with support from Judge Giant, and they get the situation under control before it spreads. Fribb is arrested: a devolved state is no escape from the law.
Judge Morales is assigned the mudane task of cleaning up: Judge Anderson, a Psi Judge, takes Dredd to task over this. Returning to the Hall of Justice, the Council of Five inform Dredd that a new organisation has emerged from the Cursed Earth: the Organisation of Modified Humans for World Peace. Their leader, Trader Dag, has pacified sectors of West Virginia City, allowing convoys from Texas City to travel through unscathed. Dredd is assigned as Dag’s bodyguard whilst he is in the city.
Air purification plants are struggling to keep irradiated air outside from contaminating the city’s atmosphere. Dag claims to offer a solution: bacteria that can purify air. Anderson is getting severe headaches, unsure as to why this is happening to her.
The reason soon appears in a local night club: Judge Death. Coming from a dimension where life itself is a crime, he has crossed over to judge the inhabitants of this universe. Giant and Dredd arrive to confront the creature. They destroy his body, but his spirit escapes into the city. The remains are taken to the morgue, where Anderson attempts to establish a telepathic scan. Dredd speaks to Death through Anderson, but nothing more is gained.
Dag has taken up residence in a refugee camp just outside of the city’s walls. He is guarded by a woman called Mona, who Dag once rescued from Virginia City. Dredd rides out to meet him, but there is a standoff. As a goodwill gesture, Dag produces Mean-Machine Angel, who has apparently been pacified by Dr Wu-2. This hostage may help to keep the other members of the Angel Gang away from the camp.
However, the Angel Gang have their own plan to rescue their relative.
Dag and Mona are taken to Ricardo Montalban Block for the duration of their stay, under Dredd’s protection. However, the citizens have other views on the mutant’s encroachmen and react violently when the mutants are taken on a shopping expedition. A battle breaks out, but Dag reaches his quarters alive.
The Angel Gang arrives at an old cave, carrying explosives and bags of illegal substances such as sugar.
Anderson arrives to keep tabs on Dag and his group. She is now getting nightmares about Judge Death and the creature manages to take control of her mind. She removes Death’s remains from the morgue. Struggling against his control, she gets a message to the others in psi Division: Boing.
Meanwhile, someone starts to tamper with Mean-Machine’s dial. His mood alters, but he remains subdued.
The reanimation of Death’s physical body begins, with sinister machinery regenerating the tissues. Dredd arrives in time to destroy the corpse, but Death’s spirit takes control of Anderson. Dredd encases the Psi Judge in Boing, trapping Death within.
The Angel Gang use their explosives to gain access to an ancient sewer system underneath the city.
Protests against Dag and his group grow outside of Montalban Block. Dr Wu-2 reactivates Mean-Machine, who reverts to his former personality, but the doctor becomes a victim of the mutant’s psychopathic rage. He then starts to wreck havoc at the peace negotiation between Dag and Fargo. Dredd eventually manages to pacify Mean-Machine.
General Flyball, the leader of his Dag’s forces, uses the chaos to move down into a processing plant beneath the building. He moves down into the Under City, meeting up with an army of denizens who hope to take power from the Judges in the city above. They encounter the Angel Gang, where the two groups join forces. By palcing explosives at certain points, they hope to destroy any peace negotiations between Dag and the Judges.
Dredd leads a team of Judges down into the Under City, hoping to find General Flyball.
The Angel Gang place their explosives according to their map, while Dr Wu-2 is found by Under City forces. Above, Dag meets to address the Council of Five, accompanied by Mona.
Dredd finds some of the Underground People, destroying both them and their bags of sugar. The Angel Gang, move to engage Dredd’s forces. The General and Doctor Wu-2 are killed as the explosives go off, while the Angel Gang surrender. Dredd informs Pa Angel that he has destroyed the wrong building.
Dag and Mona escape from the chaos above, with the trader moving to release Anderson from her stasis in Boing. He has been promised “peace” by another entity if he fulfils this mission. To his horror, Death enters his body and takes him over. Dredd arrives, but Mona tells him that the bacteria sample is inside Dag’s body, so shooting him would place the whole negotiation in jeopardy.
Death moves to a hidden location, where he transfers to his old body. The other three Dark Judges have arrived as well, having prepared their leader’s body for his return.
Fargo orders Dredd to retrieve the bacteria sample at any cost. The Dark Judges raise a shield around the block, preventing Dredd and the others from entering. The shield also begins to allow Dead World to bleed into Dredd’s world. Dredd and Anderson find Dag just outside of the shield, but the Dark Judges have been waiting for them.
The two judges fight their undead counterparts. Dags sacrifices his life to get the sample to Dredd, who manages to use the sample to destroy the shield generator, thus leaving the dark Judges stranded in Dredd’s universe. The bacteria spreads quickly, melting the bodies of the undead. The four are sucked into the void as the gateway closes between worlds.
Mona asks what can be done now the sample is gone, but Fargo can only promise that the Mega-City scientists will continue Dag’s work. The signing of treaty will go ahead, though.
(Crumley & Hunter script)
2139 – Judges Dredd and Hershey, along with a cadet, stop a Block War from breaking out completely in Sector 12. However, his methods are frowned upon and Vardas Hammond, a reporter, digs deep into the Justice System to try and expose the corruption there. Griffin frees Rico and sets up his brother for the murders of Vardas and Lily Hammond. Rico acquires an old ABC robot from a collector, reactivating the war droid.
With no knowledge of his brother’s continuing existence, Dredd is tried and found guilty. In another part of his scheme, Griffin convinces Chief Judge Fargo to take the Long Walk into the Cursed Earth, offering it as a way of protecting him from the spectre of the Janus Project and saving Dredd’s life. It also removes one obstacle in Griffin’s way, allowing him a better chance of getting Janus reactivated.
Fargo leaves and Dredd is placed aboard a shuttle to Aspen Prison, his sentence being commuted to life imprisonment on Fargo’s request. However, he is recognised by Fergie, a hacker who Dredd recently sent back to Aspen. Another prisoner overhears the pair talking and manages to free himself and attack Dredd.
Below, the Angel Gang use a missile launcher to bring down the shuttle: Dredd and Fergie are captured by the Cursed Earth gang. Judge Hunters find the wreckage of the shuttle, with Griffin ordering that all survivors are to be killed. They move on to track down Dredd. Joe manages to free himself and kill some of the gang, and is helped by the arrival of Fargo to kill the Judge Hunters. However, Mean Machine fatally wounds the older judge before Dredd disposes of him.
Fargo tells Dredd of his origins before he dies. Joseph swears vengeance and returns to Mega-City One, infiltrating the Hall of Justice. Griffin has convinced the Council to reopen the Janus Project to allow him to clone more Judges, allegedly to replace those lost in a recent crimewave. However, it is just a ruse, with Rico orchestrating the attacks from within the Justice system. Rico eliminates the entire Council, with Griffin as well soon afterwards. Dredd links up with Hershey and they destroy Rico, his rogue ABC robot and Dr Hayden, Griffin’s chosen scientist for the project.
With his name cleared, Dredd is offered the post of Chief Judge, but he refuses and returns to the streets. (Judge Dredd movie)
The Gila Munja, a race of mutant assassins from the Cursed Earth, are trying to infiltrate the city’s sewage system underneath the Janus Lab. Dredd eliminates these invaders, but is informed of a hostage situation at the R4 processing plant. He rescues a number of hostages while arresting or eliminating the relevant perps, some of whom are prisoners from Aspen. He prevents the contamination of the R4 by the group.
Reports of riots come in from City Towers, so Dredd investigates. He quashes the riot, but encounters the culprit behind the riots: Chopper, former King Scrawler and Sky-Surfer. Dredd takes him out, but discovers that many of the recent disturbances have been diversions. The Dark Judges aim to return to Dredd’s dimension, using a dimensional jump located on Justice One. Dredd boards the craft and activates the security systems, whilst clearing it of perps and rogue ABC robots. But even this is not what it seems: Judge Death has already stolen the original and plans to use it to bring through the other Dark Judges from Dead World. Dredd pursues the undead monster and destroys the physical bodies of all four judges before encasing them in Boing and returning them to Earth, so that they can be dealt with. (Judge Dredd - The Movie videogame (SNES))
Returning to the streets of Mega-City One, Dredd foils a robbery by jet-packers, but one perp escapes into a Face Change Parlour. In a vain attempt to escape the law, he orders the owner to give him a new face, but things go wrong when the machine's operator gets nervous and gets the settings wrong. The results makes a mess of the robber's face, who starts shooting at the parlour owner. Dredd hears the shots and arrests the perp, finding the anti-aging drug Stookie in his possession. The trail leads him to Jonas Leeker, where Dredd uncovers Leeker's Stookie Farm. Releasing the captive aliens, from whom the drug is extracted, he sentences Leeker to a thirty year sentence, to be served at once in the Time Stretcher machine. Within minutes, Leeker has aged thirty years.
The Fattie Olympics are being held in the city, with Dredd in charge of security for the games. In addition to preventing cheating by the contestants, he is also trying to prevent a terrorist attack by the Anti-Flab Alliance. A perp tries to sabotage one of the contestants with an illegal drug, but Dredd pursues him on to the central track. A pile-up of contestants puts an end to the terrorist.
A heat wave hits MC1, with some persp hijacking a vehile carrying frozen medical supplies. Dredd sorts this out, but is soon called to investigate a break-in at A.D. Tech, a weapons manufacturer for the Justice Department. He encounters a mutant called Coldblood.
Dredd fights off the mutant, but it escapes with ordnance. Justice Central suspect the mutants plan to blow a hole in the ozone layer, making it more hospitable for certain mutants like Coldblood. Dredd tracks him to Weather Control and puts a stop to the plan.
The commuter express train is hijacked, but Dredd pursues the perps. They try to escape by blasting the robot driver, but the train goes out of control. Dredd gets aboard, but control tells him that the end of the line is coming up fast. H-Wagons evacuate the passengers, but the robbers remain holed up in one part of the train.Dredd arrests all of the gang and escape before the train hits the terminal building.
Cadet Marrs is going through the Judge training program, but is having trouble. He fails a virtual combat simulation, resulting in him being assigned to Dredd's patrol for the day. He is given a Lawgiver loaded with stun bullets and the pair ride out. They arrived in Ape Town, a part of the city where intelligent apes reside. The results of genetic experiments, these apes have been given permission to live feely in the city. Dredd stops a mugging, while Marrs maintains crowd control. The apes are not happy about this, but Dredd dismisses their complaints. After sentencing the perps, the judges move on to attend to a robbery at a memorabilia shop. The perps wear power-suits, which enhance their strength and speed. Dredd and Marrs pursue the criminals, with the cadet arresting one of the gang. Dredd runs into trouble with the other criminal, but Marrs saves him from a stomping at the hands of a power-suit. Dredd's positive assessment confounds his tutors back at the academy.
A freight convoy nears the gates of Mega-City 1, having crossed the Cursed Earth. But a group of mutants try to attack the trucks. Dredd and a patrol of Judges intercept and arrest the attackers, allowing the trucks to reach the safety of the city. But another assailant is hiding onboard one of the trucks: Mean Machine Angel. Having survived the previous encounter with Dredd, he has crossed the wasteland to gain entry to the city. He reneges on his promise of a thousand credits to the driver for smuggling him in, headbutting the man instead. The judges discover the victim and uncover the identity of his attacker. Mean Machine is negotiating with local crime bosses, looking for contract killings. They hire him to eliminate Dredd, which is an added bonus, as Mean was aiming to do that anyway. Dredd is on patrol at a local Boing (TM) entertainment centre, but Mean Machine takes a hostage in order to draw Dredd on to the main part of the huge pinball arena. Dredd uses the arena flippers to subdue his old enemy. Once in custody, Dredd informs the cyborg that his payment from the crime bosses is nothing but a cheap forgery, focusing Mean's malevolence on to a more practical source.
Judge Hershey and a group of judges intercept a skimmer out i nthe Black Atlantic, but the occupants demonstrates strange powers when they try to arrest him. This man is called Dragon and, after capturing Hershey, issues a challenge to Dredd, one warrior to another. The judges identify Dragon as a pit fighter from the Indonesian arenas, who broadcasts his fights around the world. Following a flying camera across the city, Dredd's progress is also broadcast to an eager audience. Needless to say, Dredd defeats the mutant and rescues his fellow judge. At leats one gambler makes some money out of the altercation, though ...
Bubby Simpson of Jurgen Klinsmann Block becomes a witness to a strange transformation in the new lodger who moves into his mother's apartment. Later, Dredd comes across the creature attacking a citizen and almost ends up as a meal himself. The creature escapes, but Bubby Simpson reports the creature, allowing Dredd to track it back to its new lair. It escapes again, this time by sprouting wings, but Dredd follows on a hoverboard. He destroys the alien, but not before it promises that there will be others. The judges tighten security on their borders.
Dredd comes across some Troggies from the Undercity, the remnants of previous cities on which Mega-City 1 has been built. The Troggies ask for protection from a monster who is eating its way through the population of Undercity. Dredd goes with them into the old sewers, but they run off when the monster approaches. He meets a sewer droid, which helps him fight off some hostile Troggies, but also leads him to the monster. Bullets have little effect on the creature, as any injuries heal rapidly. The creature seems to be attracted to human blood, especially as Dredd has just been wounded in his fight with the Troggies. He finds the monster's lair and, using acid and high-explosive rounds, blows it to pieces. However, the droid wonders how many more there will be out there.
Billy Ray Fractal comes from a long line of pickpockets. He finds some easy pickings at the Gettysburg Museum of the 20th Century, but ends up with a holographic projector and a security card in his possession, which belong to a famous thief called the Weapons Freak. With his cover blown, the Weapons Freak blows away from the security droids and makes his exit with some valuable merchandise. Fractal makes a run for it before he is caught in the crossfire, but runs straight into Dredd, who arrests him for pickpocketing. With Fractal in tow, he goes up against the Weapons Freak, taking the creep out with Fractal's help. Fractal geta a pardon, but is still in possession of the stuff he lifted from the Weapons Freak. However, the security card has no number, so Fractal would have to open over 400 million cubes at least in order to locate the Freak's store of stolen goods.
Dredd is on the Graveyard Shift and it is a full moon. He comes across a batglider out to pilfer some valuables from unsuspecting residents, but the perp escapes. Meanwhile, at the Psycho-Cubes, Milo Lune escapes from his cube. Dredd acts a negotiator in a hostage situation, crashing through a restaurant window to deal with the criminals. Afer releasing the hostages, he gets a call from Justice Control: there is a mass-breakout at the Psych-Cubes. The judges begin to round up the escapees, but they have trouble with Lune. Dredd tackles him but is only saved when a rogue shot brings the batglider burgler down on Lune, solving two cases at once.
At the Inferno Nightclub Complex, the mobster Vic Visconti is attacked by a vigilante called the Lawmaster, who uses an exo-skeleton to exhance his strength. Afterwards, Dredd consults with Judge Ironside of the Tek Division, but to no avail. Progress on finding the killer is difficult. He travels to the Ridley Residential Estate, where Visconti now lives. Security droids attack Dredd, who destroys them. He meets up with Visconti, but the conversation proves to be a deadend for Dredd. He returns to control to interview Kelly, a member of the undercover division. Having infiltrated Visconti's organisation, Kelly's mission had been put to a premature end by the Lawmaster's attack. He tells Dredd that the Lawmaster's technology and weapons are Justice Department issue. Following this lead back to Ironside, Dredd find evidence at the judge's apartment. Ironside wants revenge against the mobster for his critical injuries ten years before. But Visconti is waiting for Ironside. Dredd joins the ensuing battle and confronts the renegade judge, informing him of Kelly's injuries. Ironside realises he has become the kind of monster he is supposed to be fighting. Dredd sentences him to thirty years imprisonment.
The Jim Carrie Block opens its doors to new residents, but an earthquake hits the area. Dredd saves a child from falling debris. Later, an investigation reveals that there was no seismic activity in the area and the true cause soon makes himself known: a criminal calling himself Shockwave. He says that, unless his terms are met, other blocks will suffer the fate of Jim Carrie Block: all robot demolition workers are to be scrapped, or Van Damme Block will be destroyed. Dredd races to the block, where evacuation is underway. There is not enough time to completely empty the building, so Dredd goes in to locate the remaining citizens. One has chained himself to the wall, saying he has been there for twenty years and does not aim to leave now. Shockwave strikes, leaving Dredd hanging from the ruins. Other judges rescue him and the citizen before the whole block collapses. Justice Department traces an old demolition expert by the name of Orion Gulch to the Undercity. Dredd goes down and arrests Gulch, who has almost become the one thing that he hates: a robot. (Judge Dredd - Lawman of the Future)
2191 - James Olmeyer III publishes his opus magnum, History of the Mega-Cities, covering not only the mega-cities themselves, but also other related subjects such as the life of Judge Dredd. (Judge Dredd movie novelisation)
* - The Apocalypse War is mentioned in the Crumley & Hunter draft of the movie script. Rather than the war which devastates MC1, it is the one that destroyed most of the planet. In the original comic, this is the date of the Third World War, with President Booth declaring war on the rest of the world. Strangely enough, Hammerstein model robots fought in this war as well (Prog 960 according to Wikipedia), so looking at Geiger's estimation (in the JD film) about how old the ABC Robot is (50-60 years), the robot has been placed in that war for the purposes of this chronology.
** - This is set before the actual movie: it fits is nicely with the actual movie and the continuation seen in the videogame. Some elements, such as the year it is set in, contradict the movie, but the overall plot is okay. One thing to consider is how the Angel Gang got free again.
The comics based on the movie (Judge Dredd: Lawman of the Future) seem to contradict some of the continuity. However, we are using those storylines which will fit in.