BCP Interview with John Wagner

Cover of the Classic John Wagner America Story line.

Cover of the Classic John Wagner America Story line.

Off the back of the panel at Glasgow Film Festival and the showing of Judge Minty, we conducted an interview with none other than John Wagner! This is what he had to say:

How happy were you with the Direction with the Dredd Film, and is there anything that you would do different?

I would probably have written a different film entirely, but I was very happy with what Alex Garland did. His experience as a screenwriter went a long way towards avoiding the mistakes of the first film – its popularity and excellent reviews are testament to the brilliant job he did.

With technology making a lot more possible in the world of film, are there any other of your 2000AD characters you would like to see on screen?

I had this question on an interview I did a week or two ago in which the interviewer suggested how much he would like to see a Chopper film. I couldn’t agree more. The Midnight Surfer – Song of the Surfer – either would be brilliant. Some version of Mechanismo wouldn’t look too shabby either.

Do you think the Film Industry is now saturated with Comics? Has it reached it’s peak?

No, it’s a rich seam, they can keep mining all they like. Cronenberg didn’t even know until well into filming that A History of Violence stemmed from a comic, and I doubt the audience did either. The same probably goes for The Road To Perdition.

Given the success of Judge Dredd in the U.K. and it’s growing popularity stateside, were you disappointed to see the limited success the film had in America? Would you attribute it to differing national attitudes?

I’d put it down mainly to the bad taste in the mouth left by the first film. We tried hard to counter that but weren’t entirely successful.

What do you think it is that 2000AD has that has kept it going all these years, with so many other publishers failing?

Continuing quality and loyalty of readers. It has dips in form, sure, but readers know that something immensely good will come along soon enough and they stick with it. I don’t think though that it’s financially strong, it’s still a struggle to keep it going in today’s market. Rebellion has been working wonders in that department.

With the relative success and resurged interest in Dredd, do you feel it is detrimental to its success, especially with the new IDW comic coming out?

No, I think it all helps.

The local Glasgow/Scottish scene is seeing a new lease of life with some fantastic work being put out, is there anything that has caught your eye?
Is there anyone you haven’t already worked with that you’d like to?

No More Heroes is a good comic. I like the work of Jim Alexander and always have a good laugh at Jim Stewart’s Ganjaman. But there are many talented folk on the Scottish scene and it’s unfair to pick anyone in particular out (okay, okay, I know I just did!).

Who are your main influences as a writer?

I’d have to say Pat Mills and Alan Grant, two excellent writers. Working with them was an education. Then you can throw in most of the films I’ve seen, many of the books I’ve read, and life (Jim, but not as we know it).

Do you have any work in the Pipeline you’d like to talk about?


And that’s all she wrote! Thanks to John for allowing us to interview him, and keep an eye on the page for more updates from our agents in the field!

The writer of this piece was:
Chris_AvatarChris Bennet
Article: I Hate It Here
You can also find Chris on Facebook

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