Mad Max: Fury Road is an upcoming post-apocalyptic action film directed, produced and co-written by George Miller, and the fourth film of Miller's Mad Max franchise.
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The first film of the franchise in almost 30 years, Fury Road features actor Tom Hardy as Mad Max. The film is scheduled to be released on 15 May 2015.
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, loner Max meets Furiosa, a woman who wishes to cross the desert.
Plans for the fourth film of the Mad Max series hit financial difficulties and the project spent around 25 years in "development hell." Mel Gibson was interested in returning for the film, but lost interest after 2000. George Miller announced in 2003 that a script had been written for a fourth film, and that pre-production was in the early stages. Although the project was given the green light for a $100 million USD budget to begin filming in Australia in May 2003, Mad Max 4 entered hiatus due to security concerns related to trying to film in Namibia because the United States and many other countries had tightened travel and shipping restrictions. With the outbreak of the Iraq War, Mad Max 4 was abandoned as it was considered a potentially politically sensitive film.
In November 2006, George Miller stated that he had intended to make Fury Road, and considered doing the film without Mel Gibson, saying, "There's a real hope. The last thing I wanted to do is another Mad Max, but this script came along, and I'm completely carried away with it." The film's screenplay was co-written with cult British comic creator Brendan McCarthy, who also designed many of the new characters and vehicles. Miller again confirmed his intention to make another Mad Max at the 2007 Aurora film maker initiative. However, he stated that he thought Mel Gibson would not be interested in the film because of his age. On 5 March 2009, it was announced that an R-rated 3D animated feature film was in pre-production and would be taking much of the plot from Fury Road, although Mel Gibson would not be in the film and Miller was looking for a "different route", a "renaissance" of the franchise. Miller cited the film Akira as an inspiration for what he wanted to do with the franchise. George Miller was also developing an action-adventure tie-in video game based on the fourth film, along with God of War II video game designer Cory Barlog. Both projects were expected to take 2 to 2½ years, according to Miller, with a release date of either 2011 or 2012. The Fury Road film was going to be produced at Dr.D Studios, a digital art studios founded in 2008 by George Miller and Doug Mitchell.
On 18 May 2009, it was reported that location scouting was underway for Mad Max 4. After exploring the possibility of an animated 3D film, George Miller decided instead to shoot a 3D live action film, and at this point plans to make the film animated were immediately dropped, and by May 2009, location scouting for the Mad Max sequel had begun. An Australian press said in May 2009: "MAD ; Max is revving up for a long-awaited return to the big screen, almost 25 years after Tina Turner ran Mel Gibson out of Bartertown. Director George Miller is gearing up to shoot the fourth film in the ground-breaking Aussie road warrior franchise, industry sources say. Scouting for locations is under way for the movie, which many thought would never get off the ground. It could go into production later this year."
In October 2009, Miller announced that that filming of Fury Road would commence at Broken Hill, New South Wales in early 2011, ending years of speculation. This announcement attracted widespread media attention in Australia, with speculation at that time on whether Mel Gibson would return as Max. That same month, British actor Tom Hardy was in negotiations to take the lead role of Max, while it was also announced that Charlize Theron would also play a major role in the film. In June 2010, Hardy announced on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross that he would play the title role in a new version of Mad Max. In July 2010, Miller announced plans to shoot two Mad Max films back-to-back titled, Mad Max: Fury Road and Mad Max: Furiosa. In November 2011, filming was moved from Broken Hill to Namibia, after unexpected heavy rains turned the desert there into a lush landscape of wildflowers, inappropriate for the look of the movie.
In a July 2014 interview at Comic-Con, Miller said he designed the film in storyboard form before writing the screenplay, working with five storyboard artists. It came out as about 3,500 panels, almost the same number of shots as in the finished film. He wanted the film to be almost a continuous chase, with relatively little dialogue, and to have the visuals come first. Paraphrasing Hitchcock, Miller said that he wanted the film to be understood in Japan without the use of subtitles. Filming began in July 2012 in Namibia, more than eighteen months later. In October 2012, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Warner Bros. sent an executive to keep the production on track. The filming wrapped on 17 December 2012. In February 2013, a leaked draft from the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management group accused the producers of damaging parts of the Namib Desert, endangering a number of plant and animal species. However the Namibia Film Commission said it had "no reservations" after visiting the set during production. It disputed claims reported in the media, calling the accusations "unjust rhetoric".
In September 2013, it was announced that the film would undergo reshoots in November 2013. In July 2014, director George Miller described the film as "a very simple allegory, almost a western on wheels".
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