There is no question that “Mad Max: Fury Road” impressed a few people this year. Despite the movie’s inflated budget and production schedule, as well as the rumored feud between the two stars of the film, “Mad Max: Fury Road” still managed to quite the victory. Currently, it’s sitting pretty on a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and has so far made $373 million worldwide. Considering the film’s $150 million budget, that’s not a HUGE success, but given that the movie’s guaranteed to do well on home release, it’s not a bad start.
Of course, one of the bigger questions out there is whether or not the film’s performance warrants a sequel. One could argue that now the franchise has been successfully “relaunched,” the sequel would be guaranteed to outperform it financially. Plus, given that George Miller already has plans for it (and it’s tentatively being titled “The Wasteland”), it would be foolish not to, right? But how would the series continue? While the movie was fantastic, one could that Charlize Theron’s Furiosa was the true heart of the film, and that Tom Hardy’s Max was more of an ancillary character. Would “The Wasteland” feature both Furiosa and Max once again, or would Miller ditch Furiosa altogether in favor of a new “lead.” A third option is now being discussed.
Deadline has now dropped a bit of wisdom, offhandedly saying that a Furiosa spinoff is being discussed over at Warner Bros, though few details were really given as to any possibilities. We do know, however, that the studio looking to figure out what it was that drew audiences in for “Fury Road” in the first place. Was it the kickass female characters that drew a lot of people in, the franchise name, or the high-octane visual effects? Given that it’s incredibly hard for studios to figure out which specific aspect spoke most to people, it would make sense to bring Furiosa back into the picture–though it would make more sense to include Max himself in the movie as well. Its this kind of circular logic, however, that’s making this whole thing confusing. As great of a character as Furiosa is, will a Furiosa-led movie sell tickets without the “Mad Max” branding behind it? Not to get too political, but people certainly raised a stink about the “feminist agenda” with the last film. Is that a subject the studio is willing to tackle with a spinoff like this (on a side note, how ridiculous is it that I feel the need to raise that as a question?)?
Ultimately, it’s the filmmaking that’ll be the huge deal-breaker here, and we can’t forget that. So long as Miller creates a memorable film, it really shouldn’t matter who’s leading it. With all that in mind, we also have to acknowledge the fact that Miller is no spring chicken. The man is 70 years old, and at the rate he’s been working, he’ll only have a couple more movies in him at most (unless he’s Clint Eastwood crazy). Do we really need a franchise like this to get splintered, especially with its sole director being so late in the game? I don’t think so.
I argue that the best approach would be to have a standard “Mad Max” sequel, with both Max and Furiosa at the forefront. Screw the spinoffs and horizontal growth that’s become so popular, and let this franchise live on vertically, old-school style.
What do you think? Do you want a Furiosa spinoff, or just a standard “Mad Max” sequel? If the latter, would you want to see Furiosa return at all? Let us know your thoughts below!