Dear Dr. George Miller– we love you and your apocalyptic dreamscape creation of “Mad Max” and the subsequent films. From The Warrior Woman in white (Virginia Hey) in “Road Warrior,” to Aunty Entity (Tina Turner) in “Beyond Thunderdome,” to Furiosa (Charlize Theron), the Many Mothers, and the incredible Wives in “Fury Road,” you’ve given us such fierce icons standing toe-to-toe with the men as society crashed and burned.
(Oh, and of course the scrapped-but-amazing concepts for Miller’s “Justice League” film with Megan Gale, who played Vulvalini warrior The Valkyrie in “Fury Road” as Wonder Woman.)
Furiosa alone sort of reimagined what a woman’s role could be in such a story, and while we’re pretty heartbroken about the notion that we won’t be seeing Theron return to the role, we can’t wait to see what you have in store for the character in future films.
In a recent chat with Josh Horowitz (MTV and Happy Sad Confused podcast) during the Metaverse NYCC Fury Road anniversary panel, Miller commented on the two possible directions Furiosa could have gone after she and the wives were raised up in the Citadel.
“There’s two ways to go. One is utopian, which isn’t an interesting story. What I imagined the first thing she’d do in line with that is go up and release the water, sort of a new deal.
BUT- but, following history, as a storyteller, what tends to happen, what Joseph Campbell did, to make it his mission to understand all of folk legend and all of storytelling, no matter if it was religious text or some basic small stories in a very small circumscribed region- there were always things in common.
Sorry. What Campbell said was that the usual story is that today’s hero becomes tomorrow’s tyrant. The hero is the agent of change. They basically relinquish self-interest in order for some common good. [Campbell] basically says … you love what you’ve built, or saved, too much. You become holdfast. You become the orthodoxy. You develop the dogma and basically then you have to protect it. That tends to be the rhythm of these things.
In a way, I’m torn between two things. I believe whatever motive there was in Furiosa to do these things, came from a really brave and courageous space. Part of me would love if she put a more equitable spin on the world. I’m not saying a utopia, because the world is already being destroyed. The Green Place, the place she aspired to, was the real Utopia. And back in The Citadel, she could also turn the other way. And the way I saw Charlize play, I don’t see that happening. I think she’s too smart, to fall into that trap- she’s already seen it happen with Immortan Joe. He was probably a heroic character in his own time.”
Horowitz also asks Miller a question from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson during the panel (at 23:44), regarding how Miller preconceives some of those absolutely astounding action sequences. It’s a small insight into just how Miller’s mind works with projects like this that we found terribly interesting.
We’re sad we can’t indulge our “Mad Max” fantasies this year at the annual Wasteland Weekend post-apocalyptic event in the Mojave Desert, but there’s always 2021.