Shortly after Mad Max: Fury Road arrived back in May (and when I say "arrived", I mean "grabbed everyone by the throat and refused to let go"), director George Miller started talking up the possibility of a sequel. More precisely, he mentioned the potential for a sequel - to be titled Mad Max: The Wasteland - and the existence of a novella, which we all assumed might serve as the basis for a sixth Max Rockatansky adventure. For the most part, all's been quiet on the Mad Max front ever since.
That changed over the weekend, when Top Gear asked Miller for an update. Turns out, Fury Road's notorious production troubles left Miller and company with a lot of free time, time that was then used to flesh out the Mad Max universe:
"[Fury Road] was green lit three times and fell over three times over a decade. We went to shoot with Mel Gibson back in 2001, but then 9/11 happened, and the American dollar collapsed against the Australian dollar close to 30 per cent, so we lost that amount of budget overnight. We were then rained out of Australia. The desert rained for the first time in 15 years, and we ended up in South West Africa, Namibia.
But in this process, we had dug down deep into the backstory, not only of the characters, but of every vehicle. How the steering wheels became religious artefacts and things like that. So we ended up with two scripts, without really trying. We’re talking to the studio [Warner Bros] about it as we speak, but which one of the two stories will happen next, I’m not so sure.”
This isn't precisely what he said before, but it's easy to see how we got here: one of the sequel scripts is almost certainly The Wasteland, while the other is probably based on the novella Miller mentioned back in May (just as we suspected). Also new: the fact that Miller's currently talking to Warner Bros. about when they might get to work on one of them. That's all very exciting, but be aware that it might be awhile before any of this actually happens:
I want to do a small film without special effects before I do any of that, just to do it quickly. We shot Fury Road for eight months… that’s a lot. Every day in the heat and the dust, doing these stunts, it’s very wearing. We’ve got two more planned, but at some point in the future.”
So if we're taking all of this at face value, Miller will helm something smaller before heading back into the desert to film one of two Mad Max: Fury Road sequels.
It'll be interesting to see if Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa gets brought back into the fold. She has to, right? We already know Tom Hardy's signed on for several more Mad Max films, but (last time I checked) we've heard nothing about Theron's obligations to the franchise. Maybe they bring her back for the first one, but not the second? Maybe one of them will be a standalone Furiosa movie (oh please please please let this happen)? Let's wildly speculate in the comments section below!
Oh, and while we're on the subject: are we all still in agreement that Mad Max: Fury Road is the best film of 2015?