George Miller on superhero movies & when the Mad Max sequel will arrive

Mad Max, George Miller, Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron

It’s been nearly five years since George Miller unleashed the action-packed fourth installment of his MAD MAX saga, and fans desperately want to know when they can expect to return to the wasteland with the sequel to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. Thanks to an enlightening interview with George Miller over at Deadline, we finally have a rough idea when that sequel will arrive.

George Miller typically takes his time between projects, and MAD MAX will be no exception. The director will be starting production in Australia on his next film, THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING, in March, after which the MAD MAX: FURY ROAD sequel will be his next project. Miller added that he’s already working on the MAD MAX sequel while prepping THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING.

I’m not done with the Mad Max story and I think you have to be a multi-tasker and there’s certainly another Mad Max coming down the pike after this. We’re in preparation on that as well. It’s an interesting question, the idea of multi-tasking. 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 more different the films are, the more interesting that is. A really good example: I was working on Happy Feet Two while Fury Road was getting up and then falling down. They couldn’t have been more different. One was animation, the other live action. It worked for me.

Assuming all goes as planned, I imagine that the MAD MAX sequel could enter production around 2021/2022, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Either way, Miller seems confident that a sequel is coming, and that’s good enough for me. As far as THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING goes, Miller wouldn’t reveal much about the project, only to say that it’s not going to be another FURY ROAD. “It’s a movie that is very strongly visual, but it’s almost the opposite of Fury Road,” Miller said. “It’s almost all interior and there’s a lot of conversation in it. There are action scenes, but they are by the by and I guess you could say it’s the anti-Mad Max.” The film is set to star Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, and it’s Miller’s hope that the two actors will be “doing something quite different than either of them has done before.

George Miller also tossed his hat into the ongoing debate on whether superhero movies are “true cinema,” saying that it’s unfair to marginalize blockbusters. “I watch all of them,” Miller said. “To be honest, in terms of this debate, cinema is cinema and it’s a very broad church. The test, ultimately, is what it means to the audience. There’s a great quote I saw that applies to all we do. It was from the Swahili storytellers. Each time they finished a story they would say, ‘The story has been told. If it was bad, it was my fault because I am the storyteller. And if it was good, it belongs to everybody.’” Miller continued:

It’s a mistake and a kind of hubris if a film does well at the box office to dismiss it as clever marketing or something else. There’s more happening there, and it’s our obligation as storytellers to really try and understand it. To me, it’s all cinema. I don’t think you can ghettoize it and say, oh this is cinema or that is cinema. It applies to all the arts, to literature, the performing arts, painting and music, in all its form. It’s such a broad spectrum, a wide range and to say that anyone is more significant or more important than the other, is missing the point. It’s one big mosaic and each bit of work fits into it.

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