George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road spent a long time in development hell and encounter several production problems, but it was all worth it in the end. The film became one of 2015's most talked-about titles, raking in $375.8 million at the worldwide box office and earning universal critical acclaim. It's even had a healthy showing on the awards circuit, leading to the possibility it could become one of the Oscar's Best Picture nominees.
As such, moviegoers who were left enthralled by what Miller accomplished are definitely eager to see more of the director's crazed post-apocalyptic wasteland. The filmmaker has mentioned in the past he has a script for a sequel in place, and star Tom Hardy is signed on for multiple Mad Max sequels. However, it doesn't sound like Miller and company are going to rush back to their famous world anytime soon.
Speaking with EW, Miller said that while he has an idea of what he wants to do in a Fury Road followup, he's turning his attention to a different project before piecing together another Mad Max film:
"Yes, I have. And certainly having conversations about it. But I’m not sure if it’s the very next movie I want to do. I’ve got something a bit smaller before we go back out into the wasteland — something that’s contemporary that we can get through fairly quickly. And something with not too much technical difficulty. Something more performance-based and so on, just to clear the exhaust.”
When there was talk about Miller possibly helming Man of Steel 2 for DC, he made public his intention to make a smaller film following Mad Max. It's understandable why Miller feels this way. Fury Road was a tremendous undertaking and required Miller to coordinate several extravagant action sequences, many of which relied heavily on practical effects and stunt work. Shifting gears would probably be for the best, as it would allow the 70-year old to recharge his batteries before returning to the big scale world of genre filmmaking.
When that day does come, many will be wondering if Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa (who some consider the true protagonist of Fury Road) will rejoin Max on the big screen. The character was a hit with audiences and many would be on board with Theron appearing in sequels. There seems to be some uncertainty regarding that matter, but Miller is definitely interested in Furiosa. In his interview, he called her "a pretty compelling character" and said it would be "great to tell her story" before elaborating on what intrigues him the most:
“Her backstory is really interesting. We only allude to it in this movie because this movie is on the run; people don’t have much time for recreational talk. But you pick up, you have a sense of her having gone through stuff. That’s what the film is trying to do. You’re trying to put a lot of iceberg under the tip, I like saying.”
This is hardly confirmation that a Furiosa spinoff is in the works (Miller said that just about everyone in Fury Road has an interesting backstory), so fans of the character shouldn't get too excited just yet. Miller has revealed that Furiosa is not a part of the Fury Road sequel story, and Theron confessed that she hasn't heard anything about a potential followup. Obviously, Miller is still developing the script, so things could change. But he's probably not going to force something that doesn't fit organically into the narrative he's telling.
For all intents and purposes, it may be for the best if the sequel features Max working with a new set of allies. As great as Furiosa was, Fury Road was very much a self-contained work that didn't really leave any dangling threads to explore. It would be fun to have another wild adventure with Furiosa and learn more about where she came from, but Hollywood has a shaky history with delving into the backstories of iconic characters, arguably making this a stone better left unturned. The Mad Max franchise has never been one for continuity anyway, so it would make sense if the Road Warrior joined a different righteous cause his next time out.
Mad Max: Fury Road is now available on Blu-ray. We'll keep you updated on the sequel as more information becomes available.