There is no doubt about the fact that the franchise has attained its highest position and fans love 'Mad Max'. However, the current prospects for 'Mad Max: The Wasteland' look vague.
The obsession of 'Mad Max' dates back to 1979 when George Miller and Byron Kennedy created the very first 'Mad Max'. The Australian dystopian action media then created three other films 'Mad Max' 2 (1981), 'Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome' (1985), and 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (2015). However, even after the classic success of 2015's 'Mad Max: Fury Road' the planned sequel 'Mad Max: The Wasteland' is stuck somewhere and because of this, everything is delayed.
Even before the script was written, George wanted the narrative of Fury Road to almost work without dialogue. The film's shooting was expected to start in 2003 with Mel Gibson returning. However, the production was canceled as there was an outbreak of the Iraq war that led to some security concerns over its planned Namibian shoot. So, Miller used this time to explore and refine the script and also worked on more 'Mad Max' projects that included Furiosa prequel anime.
Even though it took a long time for the 'Mad Max: Fury Road' to hit the theaters, it is regarded as one of the best of the franchise. The film ended up being a super hit for an R-rated action movie at the box office, and the Oscars. But unfortunately, studio politics has halted the production of the series for now. But the question is, why?
It took a long time for George Miller to finally be ready for 'Mad Max: Fury Road', and while he was working on finishing that, he had also completed two more scripts including 'Mad Max: The Wasteland'. It is believed that one of the scripts that Miller wrote is a prequel that features the Vuvalini from Fury Road, which suggests it could be the Furiosa anime script. The character of Furiosa became eminent on her own and both Charlize Theron and Miller would want to make solo movies of the character.
Going with what Miller has to say, 'Mad Max: The Wasteland' will not be a direct sequel to the previous movie, therefore, Furiosa won't be a part of it. He also shared that he is looking forward to making the movie with a smaller scale and with a probably lower budget and lesser stunts. After the release of Fury Road, the filmmaker did share his interest in taking a break from making the series but definitely wants to come back to The Wasteland.
A movie goes through several issues before releasing and something similar happened here. It is believed that Miller's production company and Warner Bros indulged into a dispute over an unpaid bonus after the release of 'Mad Max: Fury Road'. According to what was decided, Miller's company had to receive a $9M bonus if the production budget came under $157M. According to Miller, it did, but the studio insisted on expensive reshoots and because of this, those sequences that were cut due to costs got added—increasing the final budget to over $185M. Miller said that the studio was responsible for alteration and additional cost and that the bonus should have been paid.
However, the other side of the story claims that the studio counters their contract was for 100-minute, PG-13 film, while Miller made it into a 120-minute R-rate one. This led to an increase in the budget. The fact that the movie is still stalled shows that both sides of the company are not ready to put their foot down. Even if the settlement happens, it is doubtful whether Miller would want to work with the studio again.
There is no doubt about the fact that the franchise has attained its highest position and fans love 'Mad Max'. However, the current prospects for 'Mad Max: The Wasteland' looks vague until Miller and the studio settle their differences. To the contrary, it is possible that Miller uses one of the scripts for an anime or novel, and previously also expressed his interest in working on a 'Mad Max' game. However, since the conflict has become a legal issue, the lawsuit probably affects this side of things too.
Keeping the war and conflicts aside, there is no one who doesn't want 'Mad Max: The Wasteland' to happen. From Tom Hardy to Miller and even Warner Bros, everyone wants to make this movie. This can be looked at as something positive that might settle down the heat going on between the two important parties. After all, it would not be just to see 'Mad Max: The Wasteland' happening without Miller. The only thing fans hope is for Miller to do something sooner, as they are growing impatient when Miller is being patient as hell.
While fans continue to wait for more updates on 'Mad Max: The Wasteland,' an untitled Furiosa prequel is also announced to be in the works. The film is scheduled to be released on May 24th, 2024.
The prequel will give us the origin story of Furiosa, with 'The Queen's Gambit' actress Anya Taylor-Joy playing the younger version of the character.
Charlize Theron originally portrayed the character in the 'Mad Max' films. Theron is now 44-years-old. Since this is going to be a prequel story, George needed a younger actress to portray the character.
Theron admits she is not happy about being replaced, but still trusts George Miller's decision.
She tells THR:
“Yeah, it’s a little heartbreaking, for sure. I really love that character, and I’m so grateful that I had a small part in creating her. She will forever be someone that I think of, and reflect on fondly. Obviously, I would love to see that story continue, and if he feels like he has to go about it this way, then I trust him in that manner. We get so hung up on the smaller details that we forget the thing that we emotionally tap into has nothing to do with that minute thing that we’re focusing on.
This article was reviewed and is up to date as of July 14th, 2023.