Mad Max: Fury Road arrived this weekend, and immediately starting blowing some minds (ours included). But did that buzz translate into box office success, and even so, is a sequel even something the filmmakers are interested in?
Does George Miller want to direct another Mad Max?
Way, way back in 2011, about a year before Fury Road would head into production, George Miller stated that he and his writing partner, Brendan McCarthy, had enough story material for two more movies. According to Miller, he had already turned one of those into a full-on screenplay, which he hoped he would be able to shoot after Fury Road came out. Earlier this week, he adjusted his statement slightly, saying he now has that aforementioned screenplay, along with a novella, ready to go.
So Miller clearly has more stories to tell in the world of Mad Max, and if given the opportunity, it sounds like he’s ready to go as soon as the studio gives the greenlight.
How likely is it that Warner Bros. will want another Mad Max film?
Put another way, that question is basically: how much money has Fury Road made?
Fury Road debuted this weekend in the number two spot at the box office (behind Pitch Perfect 2), which sounds bad, but it actually isn’t too worrying. Despite being a really tough sell for general audiences, Fury Road has managed to rack up a respectable $45.4 million in the US, and an additionally $65 million overseas. That puts it at a running total of around $109.4 million, and right in line with Warner Bros. early tracking estimates.
That’s a really good sign for the film’s financial success; and with a budget of around $150 million, so as long as Fury Road has a pretty decent second and third weekend, it will almost certainly be modestly profitable.
Will that be enough to get WB to help bankroll another $150 million Mad Max film? Maybe not, but it almost certainly guarantees some kind of sequel. So with both Miller and the studio (probably) on board, it’s not a stretch to say that more Mad Max is likely on the way.
Hello Twitter! Thanks for all the kind words written and said about the film. We had a lot of fun making it..and there’s more Max to come.
— George Miller (@GMillerMax) May 17, 2015
What would a sequel even be about?
Flashing back to 2011 again, that extra script that Miller wrote was titled Mad Max: Furiosa. That didn’t mean a lot to us then, but it obviously carries some big connotations now that we’ve seen the movie. However, if Miller does get to make a sequel, he’s already announced that he’ll likely call it Mad Max: The Wasteland.
These may or may not be the same scripts, and if not, there’s always the possibility that Miller intends to make two movies: one centering around Max and another on Furiosa.
Additionally, Nerdist reported earlier this week (through their own anonymous sources, so take it with a grain of salt) that Miller hopes to shoot not one, not two, but three followup films, two of which will be prequels. These prequels will feature Hugh Keays-Byrne (who reportedly signed a three film deal) returning as Immortan Joe. If true, one could easily imagine that this is the story for Furiosa, charting that character’s backstory as she becomes an Imperator in Joe’s army.
How the heck Max would fit into this is kind of a mystery though, and if he doesn’t, I’d be interested to see if WB is gutsy enough to drop the “Mad Max” from the title.
In any case, everything is totally up in the air until the cameras start rolling; but until then, the odds of us seeing a bit more of Max Rockatansky, Furiosa, and the Wasteland seem pretty good.