No More Mad Max Movies for George Miller?

You would think that any director who made a movie like Mad Max: Fury Road that was both a box office triumph and the best-reviewed wide release movie of 2015 would want to make a sequel. However, despite having accrued enough material for two more Mad Max movies, George Miller has told Page 6 that he is essentially finished with the franchise.

“I won’t make more ‘Mad Max’ movies,” said Miller. “‘Fury Road’ was forever getting completed. If you finish one in a year, it’s considered a leap of faith. Start, stop, start again. I’ve shot in Australia in a field of wild flowers and flat red earth when it rained heavily forever. We had to wait 18 months and every return to the US was 27 hours. Those ‘Mad Maxes’ take forever. I won’t do those anymore.”

With four Mad Max movies under his belt in a filmography that only includes nine feature films, the 70-year-old director probably has a few other stories he’d like to tell before riding through the gates of Valhalla. Like his contemporary George Lucas, who directed four Star Wars movies before passing the torch to a new generation of filmmakers, it seems Miller would not be adverse to having a younger helmer play in his post-apocalyptic sandbox. That’s essentially what he told Studio 360 a few days ago, although he seemed a little less severe in the possibility of never doing more himself.

“What happened to Max after ‘Fury Road’? What happened before ‘Fury Road’? What happened to the other characters?” Miller said. “Those stories are there — probably not as the next film but the film after. I’d like to do one of them. We’ll see. As John Lennon said, life is what happens when you’re making other plans. There are so many other directors out there. People are directing younger and younger. They’re getting a real sense of cinema very, very early. There are some great directors out there.”

If Fury Road were to be Miller’s final say on the character, it would be a fitting farewell, and no one could say he didn’t leave every ounce of guzzoline on the floor. The project sprang to life in the early 2000s with Mel Gibson still in the lead, then was briefly planned as an animated film before embarking on a tortuous 3-year production process with Tom Hardy in the lead, so we can’t fault him for not wanting to go through that logistical nightmare again. It also wouldn’t be unheard of for Miller to co-direct another Mad Max film, as he did with George Ogilvie on 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Despite rumors that Warner Bros. offered Miller a stab at a Man of Steel sequel, the Australian is apparently going much smaller for his mysterious next directorial outing.

“I’ve got something a bit smaller before we go back out into the wasteland — something that’s contemporary that we can get through fairly quickly,” said Miller to Entertainment Weekly last week. “And something with not too much technical difficulty. Something more performance-based and so on, just to clear the exhaust.”

Of course, these are still early days on the Mad Max 5 and 6 front, although with Blu-ray/DVD sales going through the roof, it seems like only a matter of time before Hardy slaps on the leather jacket again to meet the challenges a post-apocalyptic landscape has to offer. All we know right now is Charlize Theron’s Furiosa is not expected to play a central role. Even the proposed title Miller previously revealed for the next movie, “Mad Max: The Wasteland,” is also apparently in flux.