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George Miller talks about MAD MAX 4

Hey folks, Harry tuning ya in here with news from Australia about the fourth MAD MAX film. It seems that the following sidebar was run in The Age's Good Weekend Magazine, and caught by The Shape for AICN today. Personally, the piece raises more questions than answers, and currently when thinking of George Miller's direction and use of CGI in BABE: PIG IN THE CITY, and how that 'opened his eyes' about things he could now do in the land of MAD MAX... well the drool flows. I guess I'll chat atcha later... I'm gonna go put on my ROAD WARRIOR DVD and BABE 2 DVD and try to mentally meld the two... hmmmmm...

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 18, 1999, 1:16 a.m. CST


    by Paco J

    About as good an idea as a new Indy film.

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Rule of Franchises

    by Niiiice

    Ones that haven't been touched in ten years should stay UNTOUCHED and untampered.

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Wez would eat Babe for breakfast...

    by Powerslave

    Might even kill him and cook him first. I was watching the special edition of 'The Road Warrior' a couple of weeks ago, and the movie still holds up really well. The chase at the end has to be one of the most exciting scenes in movie history; the stunts are incredible, and the whole scene packs a visceral punch that hits you right in the gut. As for the sequel, wasn't there talk at one time that it would take place approximately 700 years after 'Thunderdome?' No Gyro-Captain? Oh well. Can't have everything, I suppose...

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 2:07 a.m. CST

    "Gee, Wez!" or "The Guy In the 'So-Fine' Jeans."

    by Uncapie

    Mel won't come back, so why bother? What are they going to make, "Son of Road Warrior"? Leave the greatness alone. Don't poison the well.

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 2:57 a.m. CST

    Great, Mad Max Beyond CGI...

    by Severen

    Haven't film makers got it into their heads yet that cgi is just a tool and should be used (not overused) as such, and that many of the traditional forms of special effects *look* so much cooler and infinitely more convincing. Whenever film makers talk about how cheap (cgi) effects are these days it instantly worries me because it sounds as if they are more interested in delivering the latest wizz bang effects rather than a good story and that is what is killing so called blockbuster movies and film franchises (I still hate that word) these days and making them into little more than braindead eye candy and merchandising tie ins. I'm not anti effects, but just use them as a tool not as a focus, some (I'd like to think most) of us still want good, smart, sharp stories at the center of our films...anyways end of rant.

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 4:25 a.m. CST

    You're right, Severen...

    by Dave_F seems to me that CGI is almost more of a pitfall than a Holy Grail for action movies at the moment. What I dislike most of all is the use of overly "showy" FX shots. Phantom Menace was filled with them, and they had little impact for me. It draws undo attention to the effects when they should be seamlessly integrated into the action. Some movies have integrated CGI and digital compositing quite well (Terminator 2, True Lies, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan, even Titanic), but more often then not, I miss good ol' physical special effects. CGI looks as fakey as any bad effect if it's not well directed, and that's usually the case. What's more, I can't see what CG effects would bring to the Mad Max series. You could use it to handle a long shot of a populated cityscape, I suppose, but what else? The staple chase scenes of the series would be weakened by a single fakey effects shot. They need to be realistic and gritty, and I dread the notion of having a CGI car explode and flip directly into the camera in one of those damned showy FX moments. ***** FX arguments aside, I wouldn't mind seeing more of George Miller's futuristic vision. Even the uneven Beyond Thunderdome had some really cool concepts. If Gibson will sign on, I'd see it. And Bruce Spence too, hell yeah!

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Max in USA?

    by Homer Jay

    I thought I read someplace that Miller is planning MM4 to be set in North America. There would be an American counterpart to Max, and we would see the devastation in America as a result of the "Great War". Sounds pretty darn cool to me.

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 8:32 a.m. CST

    All I have to say is...

    by Mia Fudge

    Uh..."Escape from L.A." (BUT...I sorta think that Miller could not screw it up and it would actually be cool!)

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by Anton_Sirius

    You're absolutely right about CGI, and those other people are right about not touching classic series, except... it's George Miller. George Freakin' Miller! The man can do no wrong. I recall a TalkBack not so long ago where the topic of filmmakers who'd never made a bad film came up. If it weren't for the last half of Thunderdome Miller'd be right there. He's gone from the Road Warrior to Lorenzo's Oil to Babe 2. How's that for a career? The guy's a bloody modern-day Robert Wise. If he says he needs CGI for a new Mad Max, well then let's give it to him and see what he comes up with. The man has plenty of credit built up in my little faith bank.

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 9:41 a.m. CST


    by SCOTT1458

    "Ones that haven't been touched in ten years should stay UNTOUCHED and untampered." Well then Romero should have never done the sequels to Night of the Living Dead right? anyway..this blows. I'll give you 3 reasons why this is a bad idea 1) No Mel Gibson 2) CGI happy director (little George Lucas here) and 3) it is'nt going to be done in Australia case closed, next.

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Please no "Number 4's suck" Posts!

    by BTWR

    Hey everyone... for once PLEASE don't follow the masses on this one and say "All fourth movies in series suck." I loved Rocky IV, a great movie that really had me going back in the cold war days when I was a 6 year old! And it's STILL entertaining by the way... Lethal Weapon 4 was entertaining, and SW:Ep 1 was great. Star Trek IV was perhaps the best of the series too. And also, please don't do the same old talkback thing by suggesting Edward Norton to star in this and Lynch to direct. Thank you...

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Mad Max IV: Maximum Madness!

    by Rogman

    What? Has no-one suggested Bruce Campbell as Max yet? What's wrong, people?!

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Film Franchises, yes, that word sucks, and when CGI blows

    by Funmazer

    I agree, FILM FRANCHISE is a LAME word! I'm so sick of hearing it, not just on this site, either! It's like if a movie gets even one sequel, it's a "franchise". BOND IS THE ONLY FRANCHISE. PERIOD. Sure, they sometimes sucks (ahem cough cough TWINE) but they keep going! Also, I totally agree with NIICEE about the 10 year rule, although it should be a 5 year rule. Mostly because people forget about movie series unless they are constantly reminded (watch as Scream 3 tanks since they waited more than 11 months this time) AS FOR CGI... CGI can be very good. Babe 2 had such good effects it was unnerving. The CGI mummies in Mummy looked very good. HOWEVER! Is it just me or does CGI suck the bag when they try to make a CITY OR OTHER SPRAWLING VISTA? I mean, sorry, but the opening shot of Egypt in The Mummy looked faker than any shot of The Ten Commandments. Every time a shot of a city appeared in TPM it was like WHAMMO! Here's some CGI. It shouldn't be that obvious, but it is. That's why (until it gets better) CGI should be intertwined with physical elements as much as possible (cough cough Titanic, cough Babe 2). Of course, we're talking Cameron or Miller there. Not George Puke-as.

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 6:27 p.m. CST

    To Funmazer

    by Kiwi-1

    Totally agree with you on the CGI landscapes in The Mummy - Personally I thought the animated landscapes in POE were more realistic. But the problem with that film was that (with the exception of the sand effects), all CGI effects in that film were badly done. It was as if Lucas drained all ILM's talents for SW:TPM and so the only people left to work on The Mummy were incompetants. I would totally disagree with you on the SW:TPM landscapes though. I found them to be quite convincing, personally, especially Nabbo and Coruscant - not once did I think "That's CGI". *****

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Mad Max 4:More Madder Than Hell And I Ain't Gonna Take It Anymor

    by Fatal Discharge

    BTWR - I guess if you like movies with made-up scripts as they go along, lame-ass jokes and scenes of mel & danny yelling WHOOOAAAHH in wide-eyed amazement as they crash their car through yet another building, then Lethal Weapon 4 is the pile of guano you were looking for. Ummm, wasn't Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome a lamer version of The Road Warrior? If that was the best story Miller could come up with then I cringe at what Mad Max 4 may be about. By the way, I wouldn't blame him for The Witches Of Eastwick because he was supposedly so furious with studio meddling in that, he didn't direct for another 5 years. I'd like to put my vote in for A Nightmare On Elm Street 4:The Dream Master as the 4th part of a series that was also quite good. Renny Harlin showed that he knew how to whup ass in the action department.

  • Dec. 18, 1999, 11:32 p.m. CST

    If Mad Max 4 can be made now, then make a Commando 2 also

    by ABking

    The last Max film was in 1985 (the same year of Arnold's Commando). If they can continue with a MAD MAX 4, then Arnold should get a top director (Cameron works with 20th Century Fox) and make an 80 million budgeted C2. John Matrix (along with a veluptious Alysa Milano--her tits are NICE)could find some new bad guys to go one on one with for the century 2000.

  • Dec. 19, 1999, 12:51 a.m. CST

    mad max

    by alcester

    i wont be looking forward to this film if its anything like Beyond Thunderdome, that movie sucked!

  • Dec. 19, 1999, 2:28 a.m. CST

    toecutter,lord humungous....then those kids?

    by Mr Danger

    the road warrior is one of my all time faves. i really enjoyed mad max. i think the road warrior evolved the max character into a incredible anti-hero. then there is the thunder dome turdburger of a film. i was 10 when i saw thunderdome in the theater. i just remember leaving and feeling so let down. not until escape from la or judge dredd was i left with a worse feeling. mad max 4? after that crap which was pawned off as mad max 3? please. i dont think so. long live wez

  • Dec. 19, 1999, 2:53 a.m. CST

    All ye doubters...

    by goatb0y

    Here's little insight on what goes through the head of an artist when trying to tap into their creative element... It's kind of like what a Yoga master tries to achieve when he meditates, or what Jimi was searching for when he altered his conscious state to compose his righteous ballads. To find that creativity, sometimes it's necessary to drown out all the distractions. To the songwriter, the music is already there. They just have to pull the notes out of the air. To the artist, the image exists, and they just need the motor coordination to render it. To the writer, the story already exists... all he has to do is articulate it. Creativity is just a way of channeling that creation. Deadlines, contracts, and recycled formats sometimes put unhealthy pressure on the creative process, which is why we end up with uninspiring top 40 songs and crappy, predictable sequels. Sometimes, creative strokes of genius are channeled out of nowhere. Like when crossing the street or during a "hypnotic" state on an airplane, for instance. Reread that article and consider that. The idea came to him one day, and was nutured over a period of nine years. Then he "dreamt" up the story line while in a hypnotic state. Doesn't this EXCITE anyone else? Does anyone else see the eerie parallels between this and what Samuel Taylor Coleridge "dreamt" up?... "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately Pleasure Dome decree..."

  • Dec. 19, 1999, 6:40 p.m. CST

    Bluetwin - Well, YES!

    by BTWR

    Bluetwin - I said LW4 was ENTERTAINING, not a fresh new artistic work of art. You said it yourself, it was more explosions and Mel and Danny, and well... those were fun for the 3 movies! I didn't gain a new vision of the meaning of life after LW4, but it sure was fun! Why does one have to be blown away by a film for it to be good? Film is also ENTERTAINMENT, not just art. Sometimes, people forget that movies don't have to be artsy to be entertaining, or vice versa. Your "Melting Time" may be my "Dogs Playing Poker". Then again, it may be my "Picnic in the Park"... either way, we can both like them without thinking they're great art. (and don't forget that great art CAN come from recycled material or samples inspired by other artworks - See Rodan, Kandinsky, or Rembrandt for details...) Layta...

  • Dec. 20, 1999, 1:52 a.m. CST

    YES Bruce Campbell !!!!!!!!!

    by Elgyn6655321

    If we can`t have Mel......then by all means yes, bring on Bruce Campbell as Max! This would really work with an "American counterpart" version like someone mentioned.

  • Dec. 20, 1999, 3:45 a.m. CST

    No Bruce Campbell

    by Dave_F

    Hey, I like Bruce just like everyone else, but in my heart, I know he's destined to always be a B Movie Actor. He's got charisma, yeah, but it's B Movie charisma. If Mel Gibson won't be back, I'd almost rather a fourth movie not be made at all. But if they do make one without him, they need a stronger actor than Bruce to carry it.

  • Dec. 20, 1999, 4:02 a.m. CST

    captain walker..........mrs. walker

    by c9751451

    One of the good thing s about the Mad Max movies is that all three of them have a completely different feel, which to some may annoy but I liked them all in their own way. THUNDERDOME I thought was really entertaining and fun, Beautifully shot, Tina Turner was great as Auntie and it's pretty funny too. I can understand why fans of the first two don't like it though. All Three of the Mad Max movies are classics.

  • Dec. 20, 1999, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Mad Max 4

    by Discus

    Since they last left off with talking about the Northern tribes...I wish they would come full circle and see civilization begin to rise again. Bring back the cool cars, Police, and "Interceptors". The car chases and crashes were Miller's good spots!!!

  • Dec. 21, 1999, 12:03 a.m. CST

    Mad Max IV Further plot details (from Corona)

    by ledknight

    From the Corona Website: October 19, 1999... As it was told to us by 'The Shape', the present storyline for Mad Max 4 will see a new Max roaming the great wastes...two hundred years after the events of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome! That means that Miller is definitely favoring on showing us a new Max to take over the legendary road warrior Mel Gibson created two decades ago. But instead of the precious juice (that being gasoline) being the most prized commodity in this society we're told it's going to be pure human bloodlines. Our man theorizes that Miller might be expanding on how widespread the great war that was hinted at in the first three Max films really was, and that the long term effects of radiation fallout may have had horrible consequences for the survivors' descendants. It was also revealed to us that this new Max is charged with escorting a band of "purebreds" from point A to point B. We weren't told what, or whom, might be standing in the way of the new Max this time...but we're left imagining what may be on the roads between packets of civilization two centuries in the future after seeing Humongous or the inhabitants of Bartertown in the past movies. Jeesh! One final piece of the puzzle was also granted to us: Miller's current thinking is to make use of the mesas and plateaus in the <*gasp!> - Grand Canyon! Does that mean the film might shoot in the more dustier parts of the United States but that it'll still be set in Australia, or is Miller thinking of making the new Max a Yankee this time??

  • Dec. 21, 1999, 12:13 a.m. CST

    back on the road

    by Lembas

    Max has gotta get back on the highway!The first two films centered on him being a one-man wrecking machine on the road.Thunderdome was good,but it made the mistake of taking him off the road.And when those kids showed about a movie grinding to a halt!Let's have some of the cops Max left behind,still alive,with vehicles.One of them should kick it,and Max takes his car.Back the Bronze!

  • Dec. 21, 1999, 12:44 a.m. CST

    about Campbell - and another suggestion

    by Elgyn6655321

    Maybe you`re right, perhaps Bruce Campbell is a little too 'B'ish for a new "Mad Max". On the other hand, have we ever seen Bruce in a normal, non-sarcastic leading role? I can`t remember one. Who knows, maybe he`d be okay acting serious and not campy. But ANYWAYS........ If he doesn`t satisfy ya, may I suggest.......[drumroll please]...... Michael Wincott!! Wincott is a great, dark actor. If you don`t know who he is, he played lead villians in "The Crow", "Strange Days", and "1492: Conquest of Paradise". And he was the pirate captain in "Alien Resurrection".

  • Dec. 21, 1999, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Forget the CGI

    by RobinP

    There's no room in a Mad Max movie for CGI..........they were pure adrenalin on celluloid ! Dust off the old black-on-black V8 Interceptor and let's eat up some miles !!!

  • Dec. 22, 1999, 1:33 a.m. CST


    by 9353

    It's like this: In Mad Max you had beauty and terror. The first five minutes had more flow and impact than a whole afternoon of no-brainer hollywood action flicks. Road Warrior still holds its ground for a follow-up, it was a progression that led to bigger and better things but still, quite a low budget for todays standards. Thunderdome I'll have to step down from. To keep this positive I'll say the GULAG punishment was saturated with crazed doom and irony; the image of Max restrained and backwards on the horse wearing a giant clown mask/helmet no less! Nuts!! Anyway, CGI in a MAD MAX film is cool with me because if the story is good along with the performances and the film is crafted like the first two then it will just be an asset. If it is a souless movie, well, what can you do except keep on trying?

  • Dec. 23, 1999, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Why oh why............

    by J-Dizzle

    Am I having a nightmare, or did someone really say that there will actually be a forth Mad Max movie. As if the previous 3 weren't bad enough, now the movie industry has be humiliated for forth time! I mean.....why? What makes certain people think that a forth is gonna be any good? Oh, I forgot....CGI (in a sarcastic tone). So just because this technology is availble, that automatically means that Mad Max is gonna brill. NO BLOODY WAY! Just where will CGI come into the movie? The scenery is bascially desert, there aren't any sudden spurts of superb technological advancement (this is the post apocolyptic era remember?), and the actors are probably going third rate plonkers who have who don't know the difference between their arse and their elbows (with the exception of Mel Gibson who didn't really have much of character to act in). And just what is the ending going tobe hhmmmm? Oh, let me guess, an automobile chase scene right?! The point I'm trying to make is peeps, is that I would rather lay down and die than see Mad Max 4! Does anybody know if Mel Gibson can really be arsed to do a forth movie? He's supposed to be major movie superstar! Why would he want to waste his time with a third rate movie, when the previous three has already scarred his reputation for life! And one more thing, LW4 was not best action flick the US has ever produced, the ending was unrealistic to say the least, and everybody knows that Jet Li should and wouldhave beaten crap out of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover!

  • Dec. 23, 1999, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Mad Max 4 "The Lost Years"


    As a fan of the trilogoy, I always wondered what happened between the end of Mad Max and the beginning of Mad Max 2. Maybe Johnny the Boy didn't die in the explosion, maybe Max is hunted relentlessly by the Main Force Patrol for stealing the Interceptor, maybe Jesse is OK after her stay in hospital. Since MM2 was a flashback, what's wrong with another one?

  • Dec. 23, 1999, 1:36 p.m. CST


    by Melody

    I watched LW4 again the other night. What surprized me is that I found myself actually liking the movie ... there were some great action bits, and the comedy was fun. Gibson/Donnar are generous in giving new talent a big spot-light. So what's the problem? Part of what is being missed here is the way Mel successfully changed the character of Martin Riggs to become ... well, whatever Mel wanted him to become. Like it or not, he changed his kinetic energy, manic Riggs into a teddy-bear Riggs ... because he wanted to. He was doing Porter in PB around the same time ... a completely different character ... and yet he pulled them both off brilliantly. Like the movies or not, like Mel or not, no sane person can deny that Mel's *performance* in both flicks was superb. Sure, we expect more from Mel after BH, Hamlet, MWOAF, Ransom, CT, etc., ... but for a fun, action flick, this was just fine. As for MM4 ... please, give up on the idea of a Mel return. I hope the pressure for him to reprise his role never becomes so great that he agrees to do it.