George Miller Hints At More ‘Mad Max’ Furiosa Stories, Says His Next “Small” Movie Inspired By iPhone-Shot ‘Tangerine’

George Miller Hints At More ‘Mad Max’ Furiosa Stories, Says His Next “Small” Movie Inspired By iPhone-Shot ‘Tangerine’

It should be pretty apparent by now that Charlize Theron’s Furiosa is not returning for the next “Mad Max” movie (which was easily my biggest lament at the end of ‘Fury Road’). Max and Furiosa part ways and it’s clear at the conclusion that any sequel will follow the Road Warrior, not the Imperator — plus, director George Miller has said as much already, and Theron has suggested she won’t go through that kind of hell-ish shoot again (nor is she actually signed on for any more sequels).

READ MORE: George Miller Says ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Sequel Story Doesn’t Involve Furiosa

At one point, Miller said the sequel would be called “Mad Max: The Wasteland,” and then he rolled back on that idea. Has he figured out what he wants to do for the next film?

“Yes, I have,” Miller told EW this week. “And 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.”

READ MORE: Charlize Theron Suggests She May Not Return As Furiosa After ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

But could we see more Imperator stories? The magazine says Miller was “cagey,” but held it out as a possibility (probably because Theron isn’t currently signed on for more, for one). “Yeah, she’s a pretty compelling character so it would be great to tell her story,” says Miller. “Her backstory is really interesting. We only allude to it in this movie because this movie is on the run; people don’t have much time for recreational talk. But you pick up, you have a sense of her having gone through stuff. That’s what the film is trying to do. You’re trying to put a lot of iceberg under the tip, I like saying.”

Arguably, that story is already somewhat complete. People tend to forget that Miller originally designed two films: “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Mad Max: Furiosa,” the latter of which was going to be an animated companion piece that he ultimately didn’t make.

READ MORE: Charlize Theron Says She Isn’t Signed For ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Sequel ‘Mad Max: The Wasteland’

Evidently there’s enough material for several films if the director wants. “I could tell the stories of every character in the story,” Miller said. “I could tell the story of the guitar and the Doof Warrior. I can tell you the story of how his guitar was made, and how he survived, effectively a blind guitarist who only can speak through the guitar really and how he survived the apocalypse. And how he got to be basically working for Immortan’s army and so on. So everything has to have a backstory.”

All the material for a ‘Furiosa’ film is there, but will we ever see it? I doubt it, but I’m sure Miller could tell her backstory in an animated film or graphic novel if he wanted to. At this point, when will we even see a proper ‘Mad Max’ sequel? Well, it could be several years (which is never good for the momentum of a franchise), because in a separate interview Miller suggested he needed a detox from ‘Mad Max.’

[‘Mad Max’] films are too epic in scale to go right into another one,” Miller told the Wall Street Journal this week. “I want to do something contemporary, something that you can get through quick.” Miller was mum on any ideas, but said he’s been inspired by the 2015 Sundance hit “Tangerine” which was shot on an iPhone (read our review). “I seriously would love to do something on the iPhone,” he said. “It’s really an interesting exercise. It’s so available now, if you have something to say. It won’t be on an iPhone, but it’s leaning in that direction. I don’t make many films. I have to really feel some strong gravitational pull both in the story and something to do with the technological shift. If there’s a new tool or a new process, it’s always very interesting [to me].”

If Miller makes a “small film,” that’s basically two years, and then tries to mount another ‘Mad Max’ picture — the first one took at least three years— we could be waiting up to five years or more for a part two. That said, if ‘Fury Road’ gets some big Oscar nominations next week, maybe that will compel the director to change his mind if the studio suddenly gets hot to trot? One can only hope. Meanwhile, listen to the EW conversation below.

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Comments

William

I really hope they do another,even if it takes 5 or 6 years(preferably not that long)If the time reflects the quality then so be it,its worth it.I liked CT as Furiosa & she would be an excellent "heroic intervention"or safe haven pop up character in the next or later films but it is"Mad Max"& Hardy was perfect.This movie is really refreshing.So many try to squeeze so much info quickly to explain backstory.Being allowed to just take it in as you see it & in some instances realize the story as the characters do was highly enjoyable.Being able to do this with very little’spoken’ dialogue is a credit to the actors,director,& script.I don’t think giving references to older movies,running into a character or familiar ground from back then or from Fury Road would be bad at all..used sparingly & realistically.Survivable areas would prob be few & far between with small populations of people,many often on the move,so it may be unrealistic to avoid such a thing occurring forever.These places & the big Warlords ruling them(including now Furiosa?)seem to have settled into borders,alliances,etc.With all the chaos still in between.Would be a shame for Max to miss out on so much potential.No limit but what they put on themselves really at this point.They can go bigger,him getting stuck into struggles or wars over major areas,another way Furiosa & the new Citadel may reappear.Or stick to the stand-alones.Money is there,popularity with fans begging for another,stories for scripts ready to go,studio backing,these days everyone’s struggling for this kinda situation.If it doesn’t happen it would be a sad mistake.

Derek

Fury Road was most definitely NOT a "sequel" per se – it was clearly a reboot. Miller himself referred to it as a "re-imagining". To try and view it as a sequel to the original series actually weakens it substantially.

Griff

Slen – to be fair, Fury Road was itself a sequel so the franchise could easily handle another decent entry. I’m probably in the minority, but I actually like all four Mad Max films – yes, even Thunderdome. It was a welcome change of pace instead of making MM2: The Road Warrior all over again.
Provided the next film isn’t just a carbon copy of Fury Road, I’d love to see another one.

dave

furiosa was a great character but its "mad max" not furiosa. her story has been told. theres more to mad max to discover. any sequel should carry on his story. discover more about his past or attempt to give him some peace eventually. if they want to do an animation or graphic novel about furiosa then fine but no need to involve her in any of the sequels.
Miller is in his 70s, he probably doesnt want to hang around if he is intending to make more… maybe take a year off, knock out a small film. then try and make mad max within the next 2 years. theyve had recent experience making one so hopefully it wouldnt take as long next time..

msd

I don’t mind if Mad Max stops here, frankly. As Slen said sequels often diminish great works. As an aside, it’s kind of fantastic that Miller is talking about Tangerine!

Slen

And Rod, you failed to understand the Mad Max series.
Point is that Max comes in and gets involved with a group in peril and becomes part of the story. Rinse. Repeat with new group.
Why ruin what was one of the best films of 2015, with a sequel? They tend to no be as good and diminish the story/characters in the previous work.

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