“Mad Max: Furiosa” is the culmination of George Miller’s unique vision

“Mad Max: Furiosa” is the culmination of George Miller’s unique vision

Riding the wave of hype from the premiere at SXSW, Scapegoat The summer hot season was set to kick off in style. Ryan Gosling, the star of the film, actually was Talk about plans for a sequel, for which the script has already been written. Unfortunately, it seems much more likely Scapegoat It will be a one-time thing. after Disappointing opening weekend, at least regarding its $130 million budget, the film is already available on digital platforms, which seems like a wave of the white flag from Universal Pictures. Instead of starting an exciting new franchise based on old intellectual property, Scapegoat It seems destined to follow in the footsteps of another Gosling-led vehicle, Nice guys: A much-loved film that was pulled back because not enough people came to theaters to justify a follow-up.

naturally, ScapegoatDestiny is nothing new: Hollywood is full of would-be franchise starters who fail to make it. Even with extremely positive reviews and a likable leading man who just started starring in the biggest movie of 2023, nothing is certain. But perhaps the best way to craft a cinematic universe – especially one not tied to any high-profile IP – is to never have grand ambitions in making a cinematic universe. After all, he started one of our greatest ongoing franchises Nothing more than a $350,000 budget On the back roads of Australia.

Original made Mad Max It’s the stuff of legend: a process that director and co-writer George Miller described, inaccurately, as “guerrilla filmmaking.” Miller, a former emergency room doctor, had to get creative with his shoestring budget when making his feature film debut, about a world on the brink of societal collapse. Miller and his producing partner Byron Kennedy will take it on Emergency medical calls Just to raise money for production. Instead of receiving wages, some crew members were Paid in beer cases. It was some props Stolen from storefronts (He came back later.) To make things more difficult, Mad MaxThe film’s biggest draw was some daring stunts behind the wheel, as the film’s hero, Highway Patrolman Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson), sets out for revenge after his family is murdered by a sadistic motorcycle gang. (Miller and Kennedy personally cleared the roads after shooting the stunts.) Mad MaxThe kick-ass business is almost inconceivable given its volatile origins.

Despite some polarizing reviews upon its initial release –the The New York Times Shoot it “Ugly and incoherent”Mad Max He will make history and make $100 million It became the most profitable film of all time. (The film would eventually lose this mantle to… The Blair Witch Project.)Continuation, Road warriorThis soon followed, at which point Miller began working with even larger funds, to the tune of $3 million. This may seem like a modest budget, but it was roughly 10 times the cost of the original film and was more than enough for Miller to pull off daring scenes in conjunction with the film. Mad Max The world’s descent into chaos. Even by the standards of modern filmmaking, the chase scenes are spot on Road warrior– including a moment when motorcycle stuntman Jay Norris Femur fracture (The sequence leading up to the final cut) – Truly amazing. Looking back, it seems like a minor miracle that no one died during production.

Although it is the third film in the original trilogy, Beyond Thunderdome, is more commercial—it had a larger budget, a PG-13 rating, and a major star in Tina Turner—Miller never stopped marching to the beat of his own drum. The closest thing this franchise has to “knowing” is the death of Max’s family; The rest of the story takes on an almost mythical feel, as the tired, taciturn protagonist wanders the wasteland after saving the day each time. There is no sense of internal logic or continuity: Bruce Spence appears Road warrior And Beyond Thunderdome As two separate characters…they’re both pilots. Punks dress up in glorious BDSM attire. The scariest man in Road warrior He spends the entire movie in donkey-less chapters. It’s crazy. she’s perfect.

The sense of uniqueness of these films plays a huge role in the franchise Lasting impact on popular culture. Miller didn’t have to compromise his vision, because Mad Max It started very small, and didn’t need to break a profitability record to deserve a sequel: it found a willing audience, and it grew. When it comes to Hollywood, this is a familiar path for some great horror films, including… Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Paranormal activityAnd opinion. (Strange but true: opinion The masterminds were James Wan and Lee Whannell Inspired by the end Mad Maxwhen Max handcuffs a biker to a burning car before giving him the option of cutting off his handcuffs or his limb.) But it’s rare for non-horror franchises to start out on such a small budget before expanding: rocky And The situation or the end Something like this comes to mind, but in terms of more contemporary hits John Wick It looks more and more like a unicorn. (Until then, John Wick I barely got off the ground, as well Only one distributor made the offer So.)

Of course, the upside of taking things slowly means that filmmakers can reap the rewards with a larger following. At the time of its issuance, Terminator 2: Judgment Day It was the most expensive film ever made and more than justified the huge investment. rocky It is still producing new installments across Doctrine spin-offs; With the help of a budget of $100 million, John Wick: Chapter 4 It emerged as one of the best action films of the century. And when Miller finally got the major studio resources to create it Mad Max: Fury Road– A film that far exceeds the budgets of the previous film Mad Max The entries combined – he’s more than delivered the goods. By all accounts, Road of anger Production was a nightmarebut the end result is a huge hit even Other filmmakers can’t understand that: An orgy of vehicular carnage unlike anything before it.

Following overwhelming critical acclaim and six Oscars Road of anger, it’s hard to believe that Warner Bros. She didn’t buy all of what Miller was selling. In an attempt to undermine the director’s studio Create an alternate cut to Road of anger Fortunately, it never saw the light of day. But the fact that Miller had to deal with interference from Warners in the first place speaks to a fundamental problem within the modern blockbuster ecosystem: studios may not know greatness when they see it, especially when there’s no single point of comparison to which movie Road of angerScale and ambition. Time and time again, major studios are so risk-averse that they forget that risk, more often than not, is what stands the test of time.

like Furiosa: The Mad Max Saga Making its way to theaters, it appears Miller has been dealt with less studio oversight to execute his grand vision this time around. Having already seen the film, I was blown away by what Miller accomplished. Furiosa It is a very different beast from Road of angerBut it retains its predecessor’s constant forward momentum. The world building is fantastic, the story is harrowing and interesting, and Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth give the best performances of their careers. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since then. All said, Furiosa It is a film that reminds you why we love going to the cinema: to be transported, to be in awe, to experience something we have never seen before. Whether or not Miller returns to the world remains to be seen Mad Max In the future, this unique privilege should be appreciated. Any time a blockbuster with such a clear sense of authorship makes it through the production pipeline at a studio beautiful day.

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