×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Judge Dredd Owner Rebellion Sets Up $100 Million U.K. Film and TV Studio (EXCLUSIVE)

New site will house "2000 AD" and third-party film and TV projects

Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper are shooting into action near Oxford, England.

Video-game company Rebellion, which is moving into film and TV, has bought a large former print works that will be converted into studio space for its highly anticipated Judge Dredd TV series, “Judge Dredd: Mega-City One,” and its Rogue Trooper film, directed by Duncan Jones (“Source Code”). Both projects feature characters from the legendary British comic book series “2000 AD,” which Rebellion bought, appropriately enough, in 2000.

As well as servicing Rebellion’s burgeoning slate of film and TV projects, the studio will also be made available to third parties in a boost for the entertainment industry in Britain, where demand for space is outstripping supply.

The site in Didcot, about 50 miles west of London, was previously a printing press for the Daily Mail newspaper. With large soundproofed spaces already in place, parts of the facility will be ready for use within weeks, without the need to go through the lengthy planning permission process.

Major expansions are underway at Pinewood, Shepperton, Church Fenton and other studios, and there are plans to build new facilities in Liverpool, East London and Leeds. But with its proximity to production bases in London and Bristol, the new Rebellion Studios will provide much-needed additional space now. It boasts an overall area of 220,000 square feet, including a 25,000-square-foot sound stage.

Jason Kingsley, who founded Rebellion with his brother Chris, said the site would be used as a location as well as a studio. He said the site and stages are valued at $100 million. The company expects to create up to 500 new jobs as the new studio gets up and running.

In the gaming world, Rebellion is known for the “Sniper Elite” series and such recent releases as “Strange Brigade.” It has acquired a raft of comic book IP, having bought “2000 AD” from Egmont and, two years ago, the Fleetway and IPC Youth Group archives from the same seller, a deal that handed it titles and characters including “Battle,” “Action” and “Roy of the Rovers.”

Jason Kingsley told Variety that the barriers between different types of screen-based entertainment and storytelling are falling away. “I think we are pretty good at creating content in all different types, screen content and interactive games and all sorts of stuff, and I’m hoping we’re going to be equally good at making TV and film,” he said.

The Kingsleys were producers on the 2012 feature film “Dredd,” and the hard-hitting lawman will return in TV series “Judge Dredd: Mega-City One.” That will be produced by Rebellion Studios, which, with pilot script in hand, is talking to potential broadcast and platform partners. The Rogue Trooper film features the titular blue-skinned, genetically engineered super-soldier, and is being developed in partnership with Duncan Jones and Stuart Fenegan, who are directing and producing, respectively.

Part of the reason for setting up the new studio, which sits near Rebellion’s Oxford base, was a lack of space to pursue these new projects, Kingsley said.

“We’ve got a huge library of good stories, and we’ll do original stuff as well,” Kingsley said. “We make computer games. VFX is an area we are looking at as well. There is a whole bunch of interesting stuff, but you do need the craft skills and you need facilities…and it is hard to find them. We were looking and couldn’t find anywhere to shoot the stuff we have ambitions to do.”

CREDIT: Rebellion

Chris Kingsley noted that the growth in the demand for content from the likes of Netflix and Amazon is an opportunity, but has also presented a challenge in terms of space and facilities. “We’re seeing more big players wanting to get in on the action,” he said. “This is very exciting for the domestic and global film industries, but it’s also meant that our infrastructure is under increasing pressure.”

The Rebellion library covers superheroes but also touches on other genres. Through its acquisition of the TI Media library, it has an archive stretching back 130 years that includes “Comic Cuts,” which dates back to 1888 and is arguably where the term “comic” originated.

“We have plans, we have a lot of scripts in development, we have got a lot of scripts written, we have pilots that are looking for people to work with, we have people going out to the U.S. to talk to the people who are the routes to market,” Jason Kingsley said.

More Gaming

  • Riot Games

    Riot Games to Pay $10 Million to Settle Gender-Discrimination Lawsuit

    Riot Games, developer of “League of Legends,” will fork over at least $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of women employees alleging the company’s “bro culture” resulted in systemic gender discrimination. Terms of the settlement in the case, reached in August, were revealed in court documents filed last week in California [...]

  • Dreamscape_Dragon vr

    Dreamscape Gets ‘DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy’ VR Experience (EXCLUSIVE)

    Location-based virtual reality (VR) startup Dreamscape has teamed up with DreamWorks Animation to launch a new “How to Train Your Dragons” experience at its flagship Westfield Century City VR center in Los Angeles later this month. The 11-minute “DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy” experience allows up to 8 participants to hone their dragon-flying skills together, and [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Eases Restrictions on 'Simulated' Violence in Gaming Content

    YouTube announced a change to its content guidelines that will be more permissive in allowing depictions of violence in video-game content — as long as it’s not the sole focus of a video. Starting on Dec. 2, YouTube said, scripted or simulated violent content found in video games will be treated the same as scripted [...]

  • Disney’s Frozen 2 and Laika’s Missing

    'Frozen 2,' 'Missing Link' Lead 47th Annie Award Nominations

    Disney’s “Frozen 2” and Laika’s “Missing Link” led the 47th Annie Award nominations Dec. 2 with eight each and will battle it out for best animated feature along with DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” Netflix’s “Klaus” and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” when the ceremony is held on Jan. 25 at [...]

  • Black Friday Deals: Oculus Rift, PlayStation

    The Best Black Friday Deals for VR Headsets, Apps & Games

    Getting your own virtual reality (VR) setup at home used to be costly, requiring not only an expensive headset but also a full-blown gaming PC. Not anymore: The latest generation of all-in-one devices has made VR a lot more affordable, and deep discounts for the holiday season serve as another incentive to finally make the [...]

  • Beat Saber Acquired by Facebook, Company

    Facebook Buys the Maker of the Popular VR Game 'Beat Saber'

    Facebook has acquired Beat Games, the maker of the popular virtual reality (VR) music game “Beat Saber”, the social media giant announced Tuesday. Beat Games will operate as an independent studio under Oculus Studios, and continue to support “Beat Saber” on all existing platforms, according to a blog post penned by Facebook AR/VR director of [...]

  • Kris Bowers, Alan Silvestri, and Catherine

    Alan Silvestri, Cynthia Erivo, Bebe Rexha Among Hollywood Music in Media Award Winners

    The 10th annual Hollywood Music in Media Awards rewarded a diverse crop of composers, songwriters and music supervisors who contributed to film, TV and videogames over the last year, from scorers Alan Silvestri, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Marco Beltrami and Michael Abels to tunesmiths Cynthia Erivo, Bebe Rexha and the Avett Brothers to Quentin Tarantino’s longtime music sidekick, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content