We just yesterday got our first look at George Miller’s long awaited, oft-delayed, post-apocalyptic joint Mad Max: Fury Road. The movie has been in the can for years by this point, and doesn’t even come out until May 15, 2015. That’s ten months away. You could get knocked up and give birth to a child, literally make an entire human, before you get the chance to see Tom Hardy take over the Max Rockatansky role from Mel Gibson. But Hollywood is a magical land of franchises, so it doesn’t surprise anyone that there has already been talk of future installments.
Talking at San Diego Comic-Con, the 67-year-old Miller, who first shared Max’s adventures with the world back in 1979, revealed his plans for the grim, functionally mute, fan favorite badass, which include a finished script and more. He said, “In order to tell this story, we came up with two others. We’ve written the screenplay of one and the novelization of another, but it’s a very rough novel…We kept working on them while we were working on other things.”
Considering how insane and incredible the Comic-Con trailer is, any concerns I had about Fury Road have now evaporated, and my level of excitement is at a peak I didn’t think it could reach—and I was already pumped as hell for this movie. But knowing there is more in store is even better. This, of course, hinges on the first film being a big enough hit that the studio wants to make more. During the problematic production there were issues with budget overruns, and the studio even sent someone in to oversee the finances at one point. But given the advanced hype, the fact that Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow liked a rough cut enough to authorize filming additional scenes, and the prime release date, it looks like there is faith that the film will make a fair amount of money.
While this is good news to hear, it honestly isn’t a huge surprise to hear that there is a second script. Fury Road was originally the first of two films that were going to shoot back-to-back. Budget problems, production delays, and the main location being almost literally wiped off the map by massive floods, caused things to change. It makes sense that, if they planned to shoot two movies, they would have two scripts.
You have to admire Miller’s passion and ambition for this project. This has been a long time coming, and he kept at it even while doing other things, like the animated children’s movie Happy Feet—yes, the one about dancing penguins—which he also directed. It will be curious to see what becomes of the rough novel. Will that get a polish job and be released as a full-fledged book? Or will it become a third movie in a new trilogy. Hollywood loves a good trilogy. I guess there’s no reason it can’t be both. Another question is how long Miller intends to keep working? When Fury Road finally hits theaters, it will be five years from green light to opening day. And if that pattern continues, Miller might just say fuck it and call it a day.
If you haven’t watched the trailer for Fury Road yet, stop reading right now and push play on this video. It may very well be the best three minutes you’ll spend all year. The action is badass beyond words. Just watch, that’s all I can say about it at this point. You may have to watch it twice.
Some people have seen an early screening of a rough cut of Fury Road, which has been described as one long chase scene (other have claimed it’s only 80% chase scene, which still isn’t half bad). Here’s an official synopsis:
Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.
Mad Max: Fury Road stars Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nathan Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Abbey Lee, Courtney Eaton, Josh Helman, Jennifer Hagan, John Howard, Richard Carter, Megan Gale, Anguys Sampson, Joy Smithers, Gillan Jones, Melissa Jaffer, Melita Jurisis, and someone named iOTA.