New Mad Max First In A Trilogy?

George Miller has big plans

It's been a tough enough job getting the first one underway, but it now looks as if Mad Max: Fury Road is only the first film in a planned new trilogy in the post-apocalyptic road-rage franchise.

The big reveal comes at the end of a long and detailed interview with George Miller in the Australian Financial Review, mostly dedicated to the state of the Australian film industry, and Miller's uphill battles to do for it what Peter Jackson has done in New Zealand. “We started with Fury Road, but we then started to do a second story and a third,” says Miller's producing partner Doug Mitchell. “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.”

Fury Road remains an Australian production, but as has been widely reported, it's had to relocate the bulk of its shoot to Namibia, after unprecedented rains turned the traditional Broken Hill desert locations into a verdant flower garden: not quite the blasted freak-filled wasteland we're used to. "The last thing we want to do is not make Mad Max here,” says Miller. “I seriously had to think about whether I wanted to disrupt my life and my family’s. It still weighs heavily. We were out at Broken Hill with a huge number of massive vehicles. They were built and parked for almost a year there."

The budget for Fury Road also seems colossal compared to its predecessors. Mitchell confirms that it's "a bigger budget": "If it’s above $100m it’s a big budget. This is a bigger budget. People have speculated around $200million, which I’d neither deny nor confirm. It’s a massive film.” The original Mad Max was shot for less than a million Austrailian dollars in 1979; Mad Max 2 for A$4m in 1982, and Beyond Thunderdome for A$12m in 1985. The record-high Australian dollar currently more-or-less has parity with the American one.

Head over to AFR for the full detailed article, which also reveals that a Fury Road video game is being developed by the former Team Bondi, the studio behind LA Noire, now absorbed into Kennedy Miller Mitchell Interactive (let's hope they can spell Mad Max correctly). Fury Road, as far as we know, still has Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, and Adelaide Clemens attached to star. It was originally slated to shoot in September 2010, then in April this year, but will now, apparently, finally go before the cameras in April 2012.

And the next two? "We're on a war footing," says Miller. "We're alert, resilient, and prepared for anything!"