It is difficult to pinpoint the best thing about Mad Max: Fury Road. That’s because the entire post-apocalyptic two-hour-chase-scene-on-steroids film was a smorgasbord of awesome. George Miller created a visual feast for the senses, but he also gave audiences perhaps the most kick-ass character of the year in Charlize Theron’s one-armed, shaved head Imperator Furiosa.
So when Miller dropped by Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) to chat with Jessica Shaw and yours truly this morning about his Golden Globe-nominated film, we had to ask the director what’s next for the franchise, and whether those plans might involve Furiosa.
Miller said previously that he had developed two different possible Mad Max sequel stories. He then stated the working title for the next film would be Mad Max: The Wasteland, but now it seems that particular subtitle may have been dropped altogether.
With all this confusion swirling, we asked if he indeed had honed in on what he wanted to do in the follow-up. “Yes, I have,” says Miller. “And certainly having conversations about it. But I’m not sure if it’s the very next movie I want to do. I’ve got something a bit smaller before we go back out into the wasteland — something that’s contemporary that we can get through fairly quickly. And something with not too much technical difficulty. Something more performance-based and so on, just to clear the exhaust.”
So Miller knows the next Mad Max story he wants to tell, even if it is not next up on his plate. Of course, the real question is if and how Furiosa may fit into that next chapter. Does Miller see a time when he’ll revisit the character on film? The director was cagey, but fans of Theron’s character will like how he answered that question. “Yeah, she’s a pretty compelling character so it would be great to tell her story,” says Miller.
And the director hints that there is much more story to tell. Could that mean further Furiosa adventures in the desert, or a trip back in time to the Green Place before it became a marshy crow-infested hellhole? “Her backstory is really interesting,” says Miller. “We only allude to it in this movie because this movie is on the run; people don’t have much time for recreational talk. But you pick up, you have a sense of her having gone through stuff. That’s what the film is trying to do. You’re trying to put a lot of iceberg under the tip, I like saying.”
Miller likes that viewers are discovering more about this world after repeated viewings. “One of the things that’s really gratifying, people are reading the film more than just the surface — the events of the movie, and just picking up a lot of stuff underneath it, which is very deliberate. You work hard to get that in there so it’s not just empty action — that you’re getting some stuff out of it. You’re learning about characters and their relationships and the world and so on. So in many ways, the audience is picking up a lot about Furiosa — or enough to intrigue. And she’s got an interesting story.”
But the director also says that all of the people in Fury Road have in-depth backstories. “I could tell the stories of every character in the story,” says Miller, and that includes perhaps the most colorful personality in the entire film. “I could tell the story of the guitar and the Doof Warrior. I can tell you the story of how his guitar was made, and how he survived, effectively a blind guitarist who only can speak through the guitar really and how he survived the apocalypse. And how he got to be basically working for Immortan’s army and so on. So everything has to have a backstory.”
Now it’s just a matter of whether will get to see Furiosa’s anytime soon. (Or the Doof Warrior’s, for that matter.) Click on the Soundcloud player above to hear from Miller himself on the subject. And check out EW Morning Live on demand on SiriusXM for the entire interview.