In the many, sundry protocols of franchise maintenance, there's not much to be said for directorial continuity: lucrative film series don't need to have the same person at the reins for each installment. Take, for example, the chronicles of Harry Potter and Twilight, which both went through four directors from start to finish.
So that makes George Miller kind of an anomaly among most of his peers. After taking a twenty year break from the franchise he originally made his bones with (during which time he busied himself with such projects as Babe and both Happy Feet films), Miller is finally returning to his old stomping ground with Mad Max: Fury Road. Judging by his presentation at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, taking a couple of decades off from making post apocalyptic dystopian films set in Australia has been a serious tonic for him.
Get excited, in other words, for the imminent return of Max Rockatansky in 2015 - and possibly even beyond. In between catalyzing buzz by blowing minds in Hall H with a totally bonkers trailer for his new film, Miller spoke at length about the universe he's created in Fury Road, and the preparation that went into its conception. Turns out that his well laid plans for the film tangentially involved penning two more Mad Max stories, one of which exists as a novel, and the other a script.
To hear it from Miller, the excess of writing was actually a necessity just to successfully put pen to paper on Fury Road. Here's the full quote from Miller himself:
"In order to tell this story, we came up with two others. We’ve written the screenplay to one and the novelization of another - but it’s a very rough novel. We kept working on them while we were working on other things.”
Rough or not, hearing this is almost as exciting as first hearing that the Mad Max series would be making a comeback following a prolonged absence from multiplexes and a lengthy, frequently troubled road to production (including a series of anxiety inducing reshoots). The journey from the early days of getting Mad Max: Fury Road underway to now, where the film has scored big in test screenings on its way to its summer 2015 opening date; bearing all that in mind, the notion of getting one new Mad Max picture is incredible enough.
So hearing Miller talk openly about the pair of additional Mad Max yarns he has in his back pocket is kind of unbelievable, and gives new reason to pray for Fury Road's critical and commercial success. Apart from the obvious pride Miller has in the new movie, the amount of energy he's poured into revitalizing the character for modern audiences is respectable - and if seeing Max back in action on the big screen once is cool, seeing him twice would naturally be even cooler.
Where those two potential sequels might go is, of course, a mystery at this point, just knowing that Max's tale could expand beyond 2015 is pretty thrilling, especially since it looks like Miller, Hardy, and co. have absolutely nailed it with this go-round.
Mad Max: Fury Road opens in theaters on May 15th, 2015.