Oh, the old kiss of death for any film. There are those that might claim that a director being forcibly removed from the final phase of authorship is not necessarily the sign of a bad picture, but results like Prince of Persia: Sands of Time speak for themselves. Then there are examples like Jonah Hex and X-Men Origins: Wolverine where new directors were brought on to “consult” for reshoots. No matter what, switching horses midstream is a dangerous move that stinks of desperation.
Just how much desperation is coming off of Judge Dredd remains to be seen, but the LA Times is reporting that Pete Travis is no longer involved with the production, with writer/producer Alex Garland taking over his chair in the editing bay in a serious way. Here’s where it gets weird. Apparently, Garland is also contemplating petitioning for a director’s credit on the film, despite not having shot any of it, because of how involved he is in the post-production phase. Reshoots are a possibility as well, but like all of the rest of the reporting, it’s been claimed by people unwilling or legally unable to give their names. So who knows.
Of course, like anything with movies, all the juggling could lead to a successful flick. However, it’s important to note that if all of this is the case, it’s not the producers not having confidence in what Travis churned out that almost ensures a bad movie – it’s the lack of a singular, focused storytelling voice. If you want someone to make the meal, you have to let them buy the ingredients. The reverse is also true. With one person shooting and another cobbling it together, is there much chance for something cohesive?