As recently as March 2009, George Miller seemed resigned to the idea that he was never going to get the chance to make a "Mad Max" sequel in live-action, and he seemed like he was moving on to the notion of making an anime-inspired CGI "Mad Max" movie. I understand his frustration, since I've been feeling it as a fan for years now. I still ache to get my hands on the original pre 9/11 script for "Fury Road," which supposedly wasn't even in conventional screenplay format, but was instead a bound set of storyboards, a visual roadmap for the proposed film.
So it's hard for me to believe that right now, somewhere in the world, George Miller is standing on a set making a "Mad Max" film in live-action. It is truly a wonderful world we live in.
And now, making it even more wonderful, Todd Brown of Twitch broke the rumor this morning that Miller is not making one film, but actually two back-to-back for a giant "Mad Max" epic. There's been a fair amount of discussion back and forth online all day about whether this rumor will pan out or not, but HitFix can now confirm that, according to sources, Miller is indeed making two films at the same time.
Certainly makes sense of the statment Thomas Hardy made at the "Inception" junket when he mentioned that he was going to be shooting for an entire year. That's a huge commitment for a cast to make, and I know when I spoke to Teresa Palmer at the press day for "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," she was genuinely distraught that her schedule on "I Am Number Four" had forced her to drop out of the film. As an Australian, she grew up on the films, and she's known Miller for a while, having almost starred in his "Justice League" film at one point.
In Todd's original story today, he said that the two film will individually be titled "Fury Road" and "Furiosa." Makes me wonder if Hardy's character passes the mantle to Charlize Theron's character in some way, since "Furiosa" is just the feminine version of "furious" in Italian or Portuguese. I like the way the two titles work together, and since I know absolutely nothing about the actual storyline of the two films or how they're going to play off of each other, that little hint in the titles at least suggests that this is going to be about a larger world than we've seen in these films before, and that Max may not be the only one who's mad these days.
I can honestly say there are very few films in production anywhere in the world that I am more curious about than these. I think Thomas Hardy is amazing (if you haven't seen "Bronson" yet, what is the matter with you?) and after "Inception," I think there will be more fans for him than ever before. And Theron is one of the few gorgeous Hollywood lead actresses who I genuinely believe could train up into a wicked badass killing machine. There's something about her that just doesn't seem like the same gym-trained pretend tough that we so often have to accept from our mainstream action leads.
It's exciting to realize that George Miller's back in the saddle and Max is back on the road. The one big question that remains for me today is what Miller is going to do about the alleged Mel Gibson cameo in the films. At this point, even though it would be a lovely way to tie the films together, it may be more trouble than it's worth for the studio. I suspect we've seen the last studio movie featuring Mr. Gibson in any significant role, and even with "The Beaver" already finished and building some very good buzz from those who have seen it, it's pretty safe to bet Mel's days as a movie star ended conclusively this week.
"Mad Max: Fury Road" is currently set for a 2012 release date, and depending on what time of year it is, we may see "Furiosa" in the same year, or at some point in 2013.
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