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Mad Max: Fury Road was a beautiful lighting bolt of cinema, bringing to an end over a decade of production woes and pitfalls that almost derailed it entirely. Yet despite the revitalized interest in the franchise, both for the audience, as well as director George Miller, the man who also brought us such films as Babe and Happy Feet isn't rushing back to the post-apocalyptic wasteland just yet.
While stopping by for a segment on Entertainment Weekly's Sirius XM channel, Miller gave an update on the seemingly eventual sequel. Though the following comments seem to have the project happening later, rather than sooner, as Miller explained:
[I’m] certainly having conversations about it. But I’m not sure if it’s the very next movie I want to do. I’ve got something a bit smaller before we go back out into the wasteland — something that’s contemporary that we can get through fairly quickly. And something with not too much technical difficulty. Something more performance-based and so on, just to clear the exhaust.
For as high octane and thrilling of a film Mad Max: Fury Road was, its extremely practical take on effects and action would be tiring for any director – much less the 70 year old Australian legend. Not to mention, judging by the rest of his resume, George Miller isn't the type of person to rest on his laurels in one genre or another. Who would have thought the man behind The Road Warrior and the other two entries in the original Mad Max franchise would make not one, but four kid's films across two different franchises? Not to mention the fact that films like The Witches Of Eastwick and Lorenzo's Oil also stand out on Miller's resume, if anything as monuments to his versatility.
Over all other concerns, the fact that George Miller has a project that's seized his fancy is the one factor that makes the wait for another Mad Max flick that much more bearable. Forcing a director into an immediate sequel, no matter how talented or dedicated they are, is a recipe for disaster. Letting Miller recharge the batteries with a quick and focused project is good for his creative talents, as well as whatever studio picks up the project. Though considering the fact that Mad Max: Fury Road costing $175 million to make, and taking in around $376 million in grosses, Warner Bros would be absolutely mad not to distribute this much smaller sounding film.
Partnering with Miller again not only keeps both parties continually linked in the working relationship they've enjoyed since 2006's Happy Feet, but it also keeps the engine for any future Mad Max flicks warm. A small, but still calculated risk would show continued confidence in Miller's abilities, and the budgetary risk might have more of a chance of yielding a success story. While the continuing adventures of Max Rockatansky are still a going concern, giving the story more time to develop and breathe isn't as bad of an idea as eager fans might think. After all, it worked for Mad Max: Fury Road.