Ever since the end of Beyond Thunderdome’s theatrical run in 1985, fans of the popular Mad Max films have been eagerly awaiting another sequel. Hollywood was poised to give them one, but as we all know, things in the movie business don’t always go according to plan. After dealing with numerous production delays, financial troubles and post-9/11 travel and shipping restrictions, the project entered “development hell,” from which many suspected it would never escape. However, the passionate director of the original three films, George Miller, remained determined to carry the torch for Mad Max 4.
Miller’s fire has kept the light from burning out, but there have undoubtedly been moments where it was dimming. After seeing Mel Gibson drop out, and after enduring nearly another decade of production turmoil under Miller’s watch, the fourth installment in the Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, finally started shooting in Namibia in July, with Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) playing the titular character that Gibson made famous (and vice versa). With Miller finally getting to capture his vision – and with a $100 million to $125 million budget at his disposal, things finally seemed to be going smoothly – that is, until it was announced that production on Fury Road is at least five days behind schedule.
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter this week that amidst obvious concern for the film, Warner Bros. President Jeff Robinov flew to the Africa set a few weeks ago to evaluate the situation and apparently the report was not glowing. The studio has assigned producer Denise di Novi to supervise the ongoing production and report any further problems. Robinov believes di Novi’s presence on set will help move things along, so that the movie can wrap on time – a deadline currently set for the end of November
”It’s easier having someone there who has experience and who can keep us posted on the day’s events.”
WB will also be keeping a close eye on the books, as Miller has a history of going over budget. This was the case on the production of the animated film Happy Feet 2, which Miller also made at Warner Bros.
Set photos revealed in recent months have shown that the money is appearing to be well spent, at least so far, as Miller attempts to recapture the desolate landscape and the imaginative post-apocalyptic world that the previous entries deeply ingrained in the minds of moviegoers. Much of the expense is likely attributed to the road-ripping vehicles and the creative, but savage weaponry that will appear in the film.
As far as the script and plot details go, a synopsis was released by Miller a couple of months back; the story will follow Max and a group of survivors fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by Imperator Furiosa, who will be portrayed by Charlize Theron (Prometheus). The film will be an account of the ensuing road war.
However the final product turns out, fans of the originals will surely come out in droves for the highly-anticipated and way-overdue Fury Road. It certainly has been a long and furious… er, road for the film thus far, but hopefully it reaches the finish line.There is also a fifth addition to the franchise in the works, Mad Max: Furiosa, which Miller could shoot right after he finishes Fury Road.
Mad Max: Fury Road is currently expected for a 2013 release, but no specific date has been announced.