George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” follow-up “Thousand Years of Longing” is finally in production in Australia, well over two years after the project was first announced. Deadline confirms Miller is 20 days into the movie’s 62-day film shoot. Cast and crew will break for the holidays later this month and reconvene in early 2021 to finish production by spring. Miller is reportedly aiming to have the film finished by September 2021. As previously reported, MGM is on board as the film’s U.S. distributor and the cast is led by Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba.
While plot details for “Thousand Years of Longing” remain under wraps, “Fury Road” fans will be excited to learn that Miller has gotten nearly all of the Oscar-winning “Mad Max” craft team back together for his new movie. Oscar-winning cinematographer John Seale has come out of retirement to serve as DP on “Thousand Years of Longing,” making the film just his second project in the last decade (the other being “Fury Road,” of course).
Deadline reports: “Oscar-winning ‘Fury Road’ editor and longtime Miller partner Margaret Sixel is aboard, as are that film’s Oscar-winning hair and makeup designer Lesley Vanderwalt, Oscar-winning set decorator Lisa Thompson, composer Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL, casting director Nikki Barrett, first AD P.J. Voeten, stunt co-ordinator Guy Norris, and prosthetics whizz Sheldon Wade.”
Joining the “Fury Road” team on “Thousand Years of Longing” are production designer Roger Ford, who worked with Miller on “Babe,” costume designer Kym Barrett (“The Matrix”), and VFX supervisor Paul Butterworth (“Captain Marvel”). Miller’s longtime producing partner Doug Mitchell told Deadline the sets for the movie are “some of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen,” while adding, “George thinks this is the best crew he has ever worked with.”
In a 2019 interview with IndieWire’s Anne Thompson, Miller teased “Thousand Years of Longing” as “a Darwinian struggle of survival of the fittest.” That’s all the director would say about the movie’s storyline, but he did add the project had long been at the top of his list of stories he’s wanted to tell on the big screen. Miller estimated he spent 10 years conceptualizing and developing the movie.
While Miller was originally planning to film “Thousand Years of Longing” around the world in locations such as Istanbul and London, he’s since decided to shoot the entire production in Australia to maintain safety amid the pandemic. Once “Thousand Years of Longing” is wrapped, Miller and his team will move into production on the “Fury Road” prequel film centered around Furiosa and starring Anya Taylor-Joy.