Director of the Mad Max franchise George Miller sat down with The Daily Telegraph to give an update on the status of his delayed project Mad Max: Fury Road. The film, which has Tom Hardy set to star as the new Mad Max and also includes Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Teresa Palmer in the cast, was already set to begin filming, but has been shut down due to extreme flooding in Broken Hill, Australia, where it was scheduled to shoot.
If you’re a fan of Mad Max, then you know how important its dry, desolate, scorched Earth setting is to the story. Getting that post-apocalyptic desert landscape feel to resonate on film is pretty hard when you’re standing in ankle deep water. Miller said, “The week we were to start, it rained the heaviest it had in 10 years. I’ll never forget the first day — we were holed up in a big sort of shed watching the rain. We couldn’t shoot. If you want the rain to come, just send a film crew there.”
The decision has been made to hold off on shooting for 12 months, and try to get back on the saddle next January. Miller seems to want to assure fans that while this is a huge setback, the film is still going to happen. He said, “We’ve built the vehicles. We’ve designed the movie. The principal cast is locked in. The film is funded. It’s all ready to go. We just wait.” When speaking about the current cast, Miller seemed confident that they would all still be onboard, he reiterated, “All the contracts are signed. It’s a locked-in film. It has been for 18 months now.”
When talking about the decision to push the shooting back an entire year, Miller said, “It also gives me a chance to get Happy Feet really going well — so there were a lot of factors in the decision. But the big one was that we really had nowhere to shoot.” With the fast changing landscape of Hollywood contracts it seems like it would be pretty impossible to put off a film for an entire year and have all of the same pieces come back together for a second go. I’d say at the very least some of these actors are going to have other offers coming in and will try to get out of their contracts. And really, how long does big budget film funding sit around before investors start getting antsy and litigious? Miller says he’s confident though, “We will restart pre-production later this year and begin early next year — weather permitting.” Good luck, George.