By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 29, 2011 at 2:38PM
The fourth entry in the Mad Max series, the tentatively titled "Fury Road," has been stopped and started so many times that in today's climate of studios wary of hanging onto anything that will cost them more money than it should, it's a minor miracle the movie's getting made at all. And it's been nearly a decade since development on the project started, once mooted as a vehicle for Mel Gibson but with Tom Hardy now retrofitted into the retooled script that is essentially keeping the same story, Miller has seemingly used that time to expand his vision considerably.
In a recent interview with the Financial Review (via FirstShowing), Miller revealed his big plans. “We started with ['Fury Road'], but we then started to do a second story and a third,” he says. “We’ve written the script for the second and almost finished the third. We never intended to, they were part of the exploration of the characters.”
This certainly isn't the first time word has been knocking around that Miller had more than one movie up his sleeve. Back in 2010, it was rumored that Miller would be shooting two movies back-to-back: "Fury Road" and another picture tentatively titled "Furiosa." That was about the first and last we heard of it. But it appears he's been hard at work and it gives some added to weight to something he told us earlier this month. “Obviously I’ve worked on [the script] since , and we’ve got the whole movie designed – we’ve got 150 big vehicles built – and the world has evolved. I hope I’ve evolved, and I hope the movie’s evolved," he said. It seems it has grown in a franchise baiting trilogy.
But with Warner Bros. apparently unhappy with the overbudget "Happy Feet Two" that has performed below expectations, any talk of sequels will likely all depend on how the production and release go for the long delayed "Fury Road." With the shoot now moving from Australia to Namibia, where the desolate landscape will be recreated, filming is gearing up to take place in 2012 with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron still on board in the lead roles, a number of supporting roles still to be filled out (Nicolas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Adelaide Clemens and Teresa Palmer were all slotted at various points, but whether or not they are returning is not yet certain). And we're guessing WB will get one film in the can before deciding on making any more, so these potential sequels are likely a way off yet.
But in case you think Miller is done with family fare, guess again. He's also working on a new animated bear movie titled "Fur Brigade," which he says is "the most ambitious thing we've done." Toss in developing "Mad Max" and "Fury Road" videogames as well, and the director certainly has his hands very, very full for the next little while.