George Miller’s Already Got a Title For the Next ‘Mad Max’ Sequel
Mad Max: Fury Road didn’t have a pitch perfect weekend at the box office (because Pitch Perfect 2 scored a massive debut and earned about $25 million more dollars than it did), but its $44.4 million opening already makes it the highest grossing Mad Max movie of all time in the U.S., and its $100 million worldwide and counting is nothing to sneeze at. Director George Miller has already made it clear that Fury Road is designed to kick off a whole new run of Mad Max films with new series star Tom Hardy, and if the next sequel does happen, he’s even got a title picked out and everything. Miller told Jeff Goldsmith on The Q&A Podcast that the fifth Mad Max film would be called Mad Max: The Wasteland.
It’s certainly an appropriate title for a Mad Max movie — hell, any of the Mad Max sequels could have been subtitled “The Wasteland.” But there will be hurdles to clear before getting Max back out in the deserts of Australia (or Africa, depending on where Miller decides to shoot this one). $100 million worldwide so far is pretty good, but Fury Road wasn’t cheap, and part of what made it such a magnificent movie was the fact that Miller didn’t have to skimp on the production. If the box office for Fury Road doesn’t justify making The Wasteland at the same budgetary level, do we really want to go back to a cheaper, less extravagant Mad Max? That’s like flying coach immediately after you’ve flown first class; once you’ve had a taste of the sublime, it’s awfully tough to go back to the dregs.
Still if Miller and Hardy (and Charlize Theron?) will all come back for the film, it should still be worth seeing. (Admittedly, given how difficult the Fury Road production was, that could be a big if). And maybe if we all go see Fury Road 15 more times in the theater, the box office grosses will be enough to justify Warners wasting even more money on The Wasteland.