There seems to be A LOT of confusion on the ‘net (particularly among Chewers) about what in the word is going on with Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth installment in George Miller’s post-apocalyptic action saga.  That’s not surprising, given the sheer amount of problems that the project has had to overcome on its way to theaters.  It initially almost happened back in the late ’90s.  Mel Gibson as still on-board to return at that point and it was months away from happening when disaster struck.  Turmoil in the region it was scheduled to shoot (somewhere in Africa, I believe) halted the production and both Miller and Gibson moved on to other things.  All seemed lost.

Cut to a few years ago when George starting tooting the horn again after he made Happy Feet.  He announced that he would not be making one new Mad Max film, but three!  The idea was to do Fury Road first and then follow it up with a Happy Feet sequel before moving on to the fifth entry.  Obviously that didn’t happen.  Financing problems arose and Happy Feet Two become the priority.  Once Miller got the money figured out, he was set to shoot the film in late 2010/early 2011 out in the desert of his home country of Australia.  To his horror, the region he had selected was hit with the largest amount of recorded rain in decades.  His wonderful desert locations were turned into water and green-filled landscapes!  Bummer.

Miller didn’t give up though.  Pre-production continued on the film and the special vehicles for the project were all completed on time.  Hell, they’ve been sitting in the new location (Namibia) for months now awaiting the start of production!  Tom Hardy came on board to play ‘Mad’ Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron signed up to co-star.  That’s right people, this is a full-blown stand alone sequel to the original three films.  Hardy is playing Mad Max himself…not some bastard child or a character who has taken on the mantle…and the film will pick up a few years after the events of Beyond Thunderdome.

What of the rest of the cast?  Details are still sketchy at this point.  We know that Hardy and Theron are both still on board, with the former seemingly ecstatic about the project whenever he’s actually asked about it.  Teresa Palmer, Nicholas Holt, Zoe Kravitz, Adelaide Clemens, Richard Norton, and Hugh Keays-Byrne* were all previously attached when it was scheduled to shoot a little over a year ago.  Palmer has since dropped out, but no word has been given about the rest.  I’m assuming most (if not all) are still on board, but there’s really no way of knowing until some more concrete information about the cast slips out.

Back on Monday it was announced that supermodel Abbey Lee Kershaw will be making her acting debut in the film.  Some speculate that she may be replacing Palmer.  Whatever her role may be, apparently she will be locked in a cage for a portion of the film.  That sounds entirely likely, given the previous entries.

The $130 million production starts shooting in Namibia sometime in May.  According to Miller, virtually all of the stunts (both physical and most importantly, vehicular) will be done practically.  The script was penned by Miller and British comic writer Brendan McCarthy, who also designed many of the vehicles and costumes for the project.  Rumors arose last year that they might actually be shooting the first two installments in the new trilogy back-to-back and that the title of the second would be Mad Max: Furiosa.  Given the size of the budget and the fact that Tom Hardy isn’t locked down to star in anything after Fury Road just yet (aside from press detail on TDKR), it DOES seem like a definite possibility.  Someone is just going to have to sack up and ask Hardy about it while he’s doing Batman PR this summer if we haven’t already found out by then.

So there you have it.  Mad Max: Fury Road is finally happening and, by all accounts, should hit theaters sometime in 2014.  It is intended as the first in a new trilogy of Mad Max sequels from George Miller and we might just be getting the second installment shortly after.  God willing, hopefully Miller will be able to make all three.

Are you excited that a new installment in this franchise is finally happening?  Or should it have ended with the last entry?  Give us your opinion in the comments section below and on the forums.


Source | Dark Horizons

* Yep, the dude who played Toecutter, the villain in the original film.  And no, he won’t be reprising that role if he is still on board.