At the beginning of the year we were optimistic that, by the end of 2013, we could possibly see George Miller’s triumphant return to the high-octane, post-apocalyptic world he created with the long awaited Mad Max: Fury Road. As the months passed, that seemed like a less and less likely proposition, and all hope was lost. Now it sounds like we’re going to have to wait even longer, as the already troubled production is going back to film additional scenes.
Reshoots aren’t uncommon—World War Z spent more than seven weeks of additional filming and shot multiple endings—but in the case of Fury Road, it feels like another in a long line of setbacks. At times it has felt like God himself was pissed off at George Miller and on a personal vendetta against his movie. After wrapping up principle photography all the way back in December 2012, Miller and company—the cast includes big time stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron—will film additional scenes beginning in November.
Word is that the reshoots will last somewhere in the neighborhood of three weeks, and take place in Sydney, Australia, not Namibia, where the bulk of the production was located. Some of the key actors will be back, reprising their roles, though there is no word on who, but casting agencies are reportedly looking for a few “odd, idiosyncratic faces” to stop by and appear in the new footage. It wouldn’t be a Mad Max movie without a bunch of scrawny, scraggly, beaten down looking folks wandering around.
Again, we can’t stress enough how common reshoots are in Hollywood, and that they are not necessarily a sign that there are problems. Sometimes you just need to pick up a shot here and there, or add a new scene to smooth over a rough patch. But Fury Road has already had so many problems that you can’t help but worry. The film has been in the works for damn near a decade, and the two leads have been on board since 2009, an impressive feat that neither has jumped off, especially seeing as how busy both of them are. Fury Road was besieged on all sides by natural disasters and inclement weather—the first shoot had to be scrapped after severe flooding decimated the Australian outback locations they planned to use. And once they finally began filming, the studio had to send in an agent in order to make sure that things were going smoothly and that the production stayed on time and budget.
At this point, the film has turned into a Quixotic quest, with madmen chasing windmills, only instead of windmills, we’re talking about crazy awesome car stunts and action. In theory there is a film to be had out there, but considering all of the setbacks, problems, and delays, I’ll believe in Fury Road when I sit in a theater, the lights go down, and there is actual footage on screen. Until then I can only assume every last negative will be lost in a warehouse fire, fall victim to a computer virus, or the world will end as I’m on my way to a screening.
Mad Max: Fury Road also stars Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nathan Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Courtney Eaton, Josh Helman, Jennifer Hagan, iOTA, John Howard, Richard Carter, Megan Gale, Angus Sampson, Joy Smithers, Gillian Jones, Melissa Jaffer and Melita Jurisic.