Avengers: Age of Ultron is currently crushing it at the box office, but another highly anticipated genre blockbuster is waiting in the wings: director George Miller’s return to insane, post-apocalyptic motor mayhem, Mad Max: Fury Road. The further adventures of road warrior Max Rockatansky will finally roll out on May 15 after a long and tumultuous production history, having kicked off in earnest 5 years ago with Australian locations plagued by rains and unwanted plant life, a troubled shoot in Nambia and wrapping up with some controversial reshoots.
Luckily for Miller and all involved in Fury Road, early screenings of the movie were met with high praise, and audiences have been dazzled by the initial teaser from San Diego Comic-Con 2014. The excitement continued to build with trailer after action-packed trailer. Now fans revved up for more footage of Miller’s brand of dystopian road rage are in luck, as a brand new video featurette spotlights the return of Miller to the franchise he launched with the original Mad Max back in 1979 – and just how high the stakes have been raised.
While loaded with more scenes of metal-rending carnage from the film, the 3-minute clip also offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how Miller captured the insane (and likely highly dangerous) practical stunt work involving his horde of painted maniacs and fleet of menacing war machines – pieced together from scavenged parts and laden with spikes, chains, poles, guns, and other assorted nastiness in the scorching African desert.
The featurette contains glowing praise for Miller’s dedication and legendary toughness from the Fury Road cast, with star Tom Hardy (taking over the Max role from Mel Gibson) lauds Miller as an innovator of the post-apocalyptic road chase genre, who’s come back “to reignite his world which he started.” But perhaps the most intriguing tidbit to come out of this featurette is Charlize Theron’s comments regarding how Fury Road fits in with the other Mad Max films, referring to it not as a sequel or reboot, but “a reimagination” that aims to satisfy the faithful while welcoming a new generation of fans.
Regardless of what Fury Road ultimately turns out to be – sequel, reboot, “reimagination” – there’s no question the movie has its work cut out for it in today’s superhero-dominated summer blockbuster climate. Aside from a film like Neil Marshall’s Doomsday, which pays homage to Road Warrior, Escape From New York, and a number of other ’80s post-nuclear holocaust action flicks, few attempts at the genre have found success since Miller himself directed Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome 30 years ago.
However, after fans and general audiences alike have been exposed to the epic imagery, sense of scope, and high-octane thrills Miller has captured for several months now, the buzz surrounding Fury Road’s old-school stunt work is palpable – and shows the potential to be propelled into action movie immortality. We’ll have to wait and see.
Mad Max: Fury Road opens in U.S. theaters on May 15, 2015.