Filming for Fury Road would finally begin on the red sands of Namibia in 2012 and just as the real world has changed in the 30 years since Thunderdome, Mad Max’s apocalyptic wasteland has changed with it. “I believe we’ve had the opportunity to expand the world and make it much more vivid, so this world is not a repeat of what was there 30 years ago,” Miller says. “Most of all the technology has changed. We’re now in a digital world and that makes a huge difference in shooting action because you can put relatively cheap cameras anywhere and if they get wrecked you can go to the airport and buy another.”
Miller made use of new CGI technologies available to him too – erasing safety gear so the cast could film their own stunts, removing tyre tracks from previous takes to maintain the landscape’s pristine appearance and keeping the sky consistent.
“From the get go it’s one long chase so it’s probably got more action than a lot of CGI blockbusters because we don’t stop very often for talking,” Miller says. “In another way it’s much more grounded and elemental, so I would say it’s closer to an epic Western on wheels than it is to a space opera, or a superhero story. It would share with them that kinetic energy and immersion, but it’s different to any of them because it feels more earthy and real.”
Miller considered resurrecting Fury Road as a 3D animated movie or a videogame after the first failed filming attempt, which is why he jumped at the chance to tell the backstories of several key characters in comic book form. “The film is on the run and to be able to fill out that background was a very enticing opportunity. One of them is about Nicholas Hoult’s character Nux – when and how he came to be a war boy in the wasteland. You could never stop to tell that story in the movie.”
The comics will follow in the months following Fury Road’s release, but the good news for anyone anticipating another 30- year wait for Mad Max 5 is that two sequel scripts are already written. “Well, with the delays and getting into all of the backstories Nick Lathouris [ co- writer] and I have written two other scripts with Mad Max and Furiosa,” Miller reveals. “We have them virtually ready to go, so if Fury Road does well enough and we can bring the band back together in terms of crew we’ll do those movies.”
Mad Max: Fury Road is released on 15 May.
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