A trailer has arrived for post-apocalyptic action movie Future World, starring and co-directed by James Franco. Despite the title, the movie has no links to Futureworld, the 1976 sequel to the original Westworld. Instead, the movie follows a character named Prince who ventures into a desert wasteland seeking medicine to cure his sick mother (Lucy Liu). Along the way he runs into a vicious gang led by Warlord (Franco) and comes across a robot (Suki Waterhouse) to help him in his quest; Snoop Dogg is in there somewhere, because why not?
The movie draws clear inspiration from Mad Max, with gangs of colourfully dressed raiders riding across the desert. In fact, the movie feels like a number of low-budget Mad Max clones that appeared throughout the 1980s, including Steel Dawn with Patrick Swayze, Cyborg with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and 2019: After The Fall Of New York. This subgenre made a glorious comeback in 2015 thanks to Mad Max: Fury Road, with director George Miller making arguably the best action movie of the decade.
The trailer for Future World has a Fury Road vibe and primarily sells itself on crazy action and its eclectic cast. Both Franco and Milla Jovovich are using the movie as a chance to ham up a storm, with Jovovich playing Druglord, the rival to Franco's character. The movie is also Franco's first directorial effort since The Disaster Artist, as he shares directing duties with Bruce Thierry Cheung.
Future World could be a fun throwback to the post-apocalyptic B-movies of the past, but outside of the weird ensemble of actors it looks somewhat hampered by a low-budget. Franco has shown in the past he likes to experiment with different genres as both actor and filmmaker, so post-apocalyptic Mad Max clone is another entry he can tick off his list.
While Mad Max: Fury Road became an instant classic and created a new action icon in Charlize Theron's Furiosa, there's no signs of life on a sequel. George Miller spent over a decade trying to get Fury Road made, and while he has two more Max scripts already written, he's currently locked in a lawsuit with Warner Bros, claiming the studio still owes him a bonus from the success of the movie. This suit may take time to settle, meaning - for the time being - no new Mad Max or solo Furiosa movies.
Future World will be available in select theaters, iTunes, Amazon, and On Demand starting May 25.