Even though there are still two months worth of releases in 2015, George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road will go down as one of the best offerings of the year when it's all said and done. Wowing audiences with jaw-dropping action sequences and a surprising amount of dramatic heft, the film not only made a pretty penny at the box office, it also became a critical darling.
Ever since Fury Road came out, moviegoers have been eager to return to the post-apocalyptic wasteland, and it seems like Warner Bros. is up for that as well. Star Tom Hardy is reportedly under contract for multiple Mad Max sequels, and Miller has a script for a followup dubbed The Wasteland ready to go. But when might fans get to see another Max film on the big screen?
Speaking with Deadline, Miller provided an update on the Fury Road sequel, saying that he and the studio are attempting to get the timing right before moving forward on something:
"The more I speculate about what’s happening, the more I try to avoid spoilers this far out, and also I find myself talking around in circles. So the best thing I can say is that we’re definitely in discussion about making more of these, but the timing of it, I’m really not sure. Probably won’t be called Wasteland. I can say that. It was just the working title we gave it."
Since a Fury Road sequel is probably a ways off (Miller intends on making a smaller film next), it makes sense that Miller would be hesitant to discuss it with the press, as he's probably still ironing some details out. Still, it's promising for viewers that the he's been in discussion with WB about the film. Ideally, this will mean that fans won't have to wait another 30 years before going back to the mad, mad world of Max Rockatansky.
In the interview with Deadline, Miller confirmed that Hardy would be reprising the title role when the sequel gets the green light. When asked if the original Mad Max - Mel Gibson - could return to the franchise in some capacity, the director said he would not bring Gibson back to avoid confusing viewers:
"Not in these movies, for a very simple reason. If Mel, who is Max in a lot of people’s memories, appeared in the next movie, it would pull audiences out of the movie for a bit, and we worked so hard to keep people immersed in the movie as much as possible. It would be like, I don’t know, seeing Roger Moore appearing in a Daniel Craig James Bond movie. It would be fun, but it would also pull you out of the experience of the movie."
There are some instances of franchise icons appearing in a series reboot in a different role (see: Paul Feig's Ghostbusters), but it's probably for the best if Gibson doesn't come back. Regardless if it was a brief cameo or a more substantial supporting part, his presence could be a distraction for viewers who are getting used to seeing Hardy as Mad Max. Fury Road did such a great job of engrossing the audience in what was happening, to do anything that could take away from the experience would be unwise.
Mad Max: Fury Road is now available on Blu-ray. We'll keep you updated on any sequels as more information becomes available.