The (potentially) news: George Miller says that Mad Max 4 will probably happen. The (potentially) bad: it will be incarnated as a 3D anime feature, with an accompanying video game. The game part I can get behind — there’s actually a small part of Resident Evil 5 that made me wish I had a Mad Max game last night — but anime? Oh, lord.
(We’ve known about the game part for a while. Cory Barlog, animation director on God of War and game director on God of War II, is heading up the development. He recently blogged from Australia about being in meetings with Miller.)
I like Miller and I want him to make movies, but a lot of the appeal of
the Mad Max films is the dust and grit. It’s about real cars crashing
together and real people being together in the same terrible, dirty
wasteland. That’s the antithesis of anime. Not that animation can’t be dirty (howdy, Wall-E) but it’s a very rare exception.
Points: first, and probably going without saying, Mel Gibson will not be involved. The way MTV spins his comments, it doesn’t seem like Gibson’s involvement is something the director wants at all. Second, the R-rated flick would be based in part on the Mad Max 4 script that was scuttled as a live-action feature a couple years back.
Then, with respect to the style and tone of the anime, there’s this: “The anime is an opportunity for me to shift a little bit about what anime is doing because anime is ripe for an adjustment or sea change. It’s coming in games and I believe it’s the same in anime. There’s going to be a hybrid anime where it shifts more towards Western sensibilities.”
Beyond that, we’re looking at a sea of development time. Anime and games each take at least two years to do well, acknowledges Miller, so we won’t hear anything more substantial for a while. Hoping for game prototypes at E3 this year is probably asking for too much.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey