Hugh Keays-Byrne: Mad Max wheels are my children

20 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

George Miller reveals potential title for Mad Max sequel.

Universal’s ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ defied expectations by topping the box office over traditional summer fare like ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Max Max’. When a movie made for $29 million earns double what its predecessor did during its entire run during its opening frame and takes down a one-time frontrunner for summer crown in the process…you make exceptions. In our story on the making of the mesmerizing Mad Max: Fury Road, we chronicled the film’s 17-year journey from director George Miller’s epiphany at an L.A crosswalk to the big screen. Pitch Perfect 2 is the second of Universal’s (a subsidiary of Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA (NASDAQ:CMCSK))) summer of sequels which technically kicked off in the spring with Furious 7 and just like the car racing super-film it hit critical mass early.

Everything—and I do mean everything—seemed to get in its path, including 9/11, Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic meltdown, the passing of Heath Ledger (who was being courted for Max), the first rains in 15 years to hit Broken Hill, Australia, forcing production to move to Namibia, and an on-set feud between co-stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. It happened because, with the delays [on Fury Road] and writing all the backstories, they just expanded.” No storyboarding has taken place just yet. He jokingly said, “I said to someone it’s like asking a woman who’s just given birth, ‘When are you having your next baby?’” Tom Hardy revealed last month that he’s signed on for three more Mad Max films, provided they are greenlit. Yet it really shouldn’t have been as PP2 has had massive buzz since the word “go” and its fantastic cast has long known how to steal the attention in any room. If you recall, back in 2007, Warner Bros. announced it was ready to roll on Justice League: Mortal, a $220 million blockbuster superhero film on The Justice League—essentially DC Comics’ version of The Avengers—that was set to hit theaters in July 2009.

Fronted by Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson the musical comedy about the continuing adventures of a college acapella group is on track to top the $70 million mark. Not only would that make the film the highest opening musical of all time but even more impressively possibly the highest grossing film debut ever for a female director.

Banks’ jump from being a producer and supporting actress in the original to again being a producer, reprising her character in front of the camera and then calling all the shots behind it…essentially becoming a triple threat. And that’s not to take anything away from Grey or Furious as analysts and stockholders are hard pressed to forget the studio also released two high profile misses in the first quarter. Blackhat which flopped hard just a few weeks into the year and Seventh Son which was part of that Black February weekend that also saw the equally under-performing Jupiter Ascending debut, did poor enough to make any shareholder cringe.

Even the board that they put together wasn’t very experienced, and they thought that it had to be only Australian content, so much like how the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the Florida recount, there was a 4-3 overruling in the tribunal. It was the success of Grey and Furious paired with the promise of this amazing summer that helped all involved stay optimistic and excited about what was to come. Miller could have supplanted Zack Snyder as one of the architects—along with Christopher Nolan—of the DC film universe, but it wasn’t meant to be. CG allows you to do anything—you can defy the laws of physics, make people fly, have spacecrafts—and they can do that relatively easy with green screen.

Yet that’s looking ahead, for now remember PP2 also scored an “A-” Cinemacore rating which speaks to its longevity and with two more films entering the mix next week that added word of mouth is going to help. The cars themselves are real world, and we wanted to do it old school with real cars, real people, real desert, and no green screen—and do it chronologically, so when there are attritions in the cars and the people, you can see it in the movie. Most of the cast was able to do really scary stunts, relatively-speaking.” Miller’s The Road Warrior, the second installment in the Mad Max franchise, set the blueprint for all future post-apocalyptic landscapes on film. Dre and Roger Troutman, had its music video directed by Hype Williams, and it was heavily inspired by Miller’s third Mad Max movie, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

In fact, Williams, Tupac, and Dre never reached out to Miller prior to filming the music video—he only caught wind of it after it had premiered on MTV.

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