If you’re like me, you saw a headline yesterday that read “Pitch Perfect 2 Takes #1 At Box Office, Blowing Past Mad Max!” and thought, “Uh oh…”
Thankfully, despite Pitch Perfect 2 winning the weekend by a hefty margin, that doesn’t mean that Mad Max: Fury Road was some kind of flop. Quite the contrary, the film opened to a very muscular $45 million. That’s quite a feat considering the long, winding, tumultuous path the film took the big screen. From financial woes, to sand storms destroying sets, to production delays, to bad test screenings, on-set hostilities between Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, and the necessity for major reshoots to overhaul certain sequences-which all led to director George Miller finally turning in a finished cut of the film only a few weeks before its premiere- not to mention that it’s a pseudo sequel/reboot of a franchise that’s been out of theaters since 1985, this thing could’ve failed. And failed big.
But with that strong opening- made even stronger by its R rating- coupled with a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and incredible word of mouth, it looks like Mad Max is here to stay.
Miller, for one, has been ready for this. He’s been working on bringing the franchise back to theaters since 2001. As such, he’s all ready got two more stories he’s ready to tell, and a title for the next film. He told The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith that the next film will bare the name Mad Max: The Wasteland.
“Weâ€™ve got one screenplay and a novella. It happened because with the delays [on ‘Fury Road’], and writing all the backstories, they just expanded,” Miller explained. While on the topic of all the twists and turns the project took on its way to the screen, he also revealed who might have played Max Rockatansky if things had come together a few years sooner.
Who would it have been, you ask? What if I told you it would’ve been another of Christopher Nolan’s former Batman villains?
“Every time Heath [Ledger] would come through Sydney, heâ€™d call in and weâ€™d chat about Max,â€ Miller said in an interview with The Daily Beast. â€œHe had that same thing that Mel [Gibson] and Tom Hardy have â€”that maleness, charisma, and restless energy, which you need to play a relatively still character. The world lost someone great when he went. Tom was the next to walk through the door that had that vibe.“
Interesting, eh? If it wouldn’t have been Bane, it would’ve been The Joker. And Miller was once going to direct a movie that had Batman in it when he was prepping the aborted Justice League movie…with Armie Hammer as Batman, who is about to co-star with “Superman” Henry Cavill in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.!!
My head hurts.
Anyway, it’s a good time to be a Mad Max fan. I actually haven’t seen Fury Road yet. Intend to catch it tonight.