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The world of Mad Max will grow for the first time in 30 years next week, as Mad Max: Fury Road - the fourth chapter in director George Miller’s long-running series – arrives in theaters. What you may not know, however, is that the filmmaker actually originally had even bigger plans for the continued future of the franchise, which involved a solo anime effort following the story of Furiosa, the character played by Charlize Theron in Fury Road.
I had the absolutely wonderful opportunity to sit down for a one-on-one chat with George Miller yesterday, as part of the Los Angeles press day for Mad Max: Fury Road, and it was towards the end of our conversation that he revealed that the new live-action feature wasn’t the only project that he had originally envisioned for the return of the Australian-made series. According to the filmmaker, the idea of doing an anime came out of the efforts that he made along with his Fury Road co-screenwriters Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris. Said Miller,
As part of this digging down deep, we did write backstories – so we were going to do an anime based on the Furiosa character. That exists. And we’ve written two other stories for Max, about how he got to where he is, how he got to be that wild animal trapped in that mask. Which is a garden hoe!
At this point, you may be asking yourself, "Why is this the first time that I’m hearing about this?" and sadly there’s a simple answer: the idea of doing an anime was literally washed away. Back in 2010, the production wound up getting delayed due to unusually heavy rainfall in the area in which Miller wanted to shoot (not super fitting for a film set in the desert), and this delay wound up adversely affecting the Furiosa anime as well. Miller explained,
We were going to do it, but with the second delay we were rained out, and it fell apart. And by the time that we had to scramble to get the movie going again we just had no time to get involved. It was an casualty of the delay.
So it looks like we may never get to actually see the Furiosa anime, but the future certainly looks bright for the future of the Mad Max series. Trailers and various footage from Fury Road have painted the blockbuster as a ridiculously crazy, action-packed spectacle, and while she may not be animated, Charlize Theron looks absolutely badass as the one-armed Furiosa. Stay tuned for more from my interview with George Miller, and go see Mad Max: Fury Road when it hits theaters on May 15th.