Almost thirty years have passed since the release of George Miller's sci-fi threequel Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, and that alone should be enough to tip even non-fans off to the fact that the fourth film in the series has had a little bit of trouble getting off the ground. Production on Mad Max: Fury Road has been plagued by a range of delays, and even with the movie apparently in the can it seems there is still work to be done.
The reasons behind the additional filming that's planned for this month have so far been unclear, with some reports claiming that Miller was given extra money for an action sequence after being pleased with a rough cut of the film, while other evidence suggests that Miller did not manage to finish the film on time last year. If the latter is true, then it seems strange that Warner Bros. would wait an entire year before giving a greenlight to extra filming time.
Star Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), who is taking over the iconic role from Mel Gibson, has now shed a little light on the matter of the reshoots and what they're for. Speaking to Flicks and the City on the red carpet at the BFI London Film Festival, Hardy was enthusiastic about the project and gave a little more insight into what the additional shooting is for:
"[Mad Max] is great, it's a big old beast, it's a behemoth. I'm off out there next week to do some reshoots - well, not reshoots, actually, we're doing more. Building more Mad Max that's even more spectacular."
Hardy's account of the extra days planned for filming Mad Max: Fury Road could fit with either of the two main possible explanations: either the current cut of the film doesn't have enough material to tie it all together, or Warner Bros. is confident enough in Miller's existing work to invest more money into creating bigger setpieces.
After the long and heavy slog that it has taken for Miller to finally get his fourth Mad Max script filmed, it's tempting to go with the more optimistic version. After all, Hardy is an excellent choice for a leading man and some of the vehicles that have been photographed on set, like the one above, definitely seem to be a return to the aesthetics that made the original films great. Miller has spent a long time away from the genre, with his last three films being Happy Feet, Happy Feet 2 and Babe: Pig in the City, but that doesn't mean that he will have lost his vision for the Mad Max series along the way.
Will Mad Max: Fury Road be as spectacular as Hardy claims, or will the cracks in the development and filming process show in the finished product? Tell us in the comments if you're feeling positive about the additional shooting that's been scheduled, or if you think it spells trouble.
Mad Max: Fury Road is expected to release in 2014, though a specific date has not yet been announced.