George Miller has secured financing for his next movie, “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” and has set a March production start in Australia with stars Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton (via Deadline). The movie will be Miller’s first directorial feature since 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road.” While Miller is taking a “Mad Max” break, he confirmed to Deadline that he will multitask during the “Three Thousand Years of Longing” production to work on pre-production on the next “Mad Max” movie. Miller says he’s already prepping the “Fury Road” sequel.
“I’m not done with the Mad Max story and I think you have to be a multitasker, and there’s certainly another Mad Max coming down the pike after this,” Miller said. “We’re in preparation on that as well. It’s an interesting question, the idea of multitasking. I discuss this with other filmmakers and I think what happens to me is that when you’re working on one thing, and you get so distracted and focused on that one thing, it’s like a creative holiday to focus on the other one for a bit. It helps you achieve that objectivity, to look at the thing afresh each time and say, I thought I was doing this, but it doesn’t seem to be the case now.”
The long wait for a “Fury Road” sequel has been the result of a lawsuit between Miller’s production company, Kennedy Miller Mitchell, and Warner Bros. The production company claimed it’s eligible for $9 million after it delivered “Fury Road” under the agreed budget of $157 million. Warner Bros. claims Kennedy Miller Mitchell broke contract over the film’s intended runtime and rating, delivering a 120-minute R-rated film when it allegedly agreed to a 100-minute PG-13 film. The tension between the two parties must be cooling off if Miller is prepping a “Fury Road” follow-up. The director has said for years he has two “Fury Road” sequels in mind, plus a separate film centered around Charlize Theron’s Furiosa.
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In his interview with Deadline, Miller also revealed the backstory to one of “Fury Road’s” most iconic characters: the Doof Warrior, the madman guitar player seen shredding his fire-spouting instrument atop a moving vehicle. The Doof Warrior was played by Sean Hape, an Australian actor/musician who performs under the name iOTA.
“He was blind from birth,” Miller said of the Doof Warrior. “When things started going a bit crazy, he and his mother were left in a mining town. The only way they could survive was to go into a place where there was a competitive advantage to being blind. And that was to go deep down into a mine shaft where they were able to survive. He took what was most precious to him, a musical instrument, probably a guitar.
“As they were careening through the wasteland, someone heard this music echoing out of that mine shaft, went down there, and luckily they saw him as an asset,” Miller continued. “I think they killed his mother because she wasn’t of any use. They took him and he eventually ended up as the equivalent of the drummer, the fife player or the bagpiper, in Immortan Joe’s army.”
Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” has popped up on many year-end lists of the best films of the decade. While the director is confident a “Fury Road” sequel is in his future, “Three Thousand Years of Longing” will arrive first.