In 2015, road warrior Max Rockatansky staged an epic comeback in George Miller's explosive return to the action genre, Mad Max: Fury Road. As good as the long delayed fourth Mad Max movie was, the final product seen in cinemas wasn't exactly Miller's most pure vision.
Now fans will be happy to know that Miller's true concept for Fury Road will be coming to home video, and it is unlike any other special edition sold in stores. Instead of restoring deleted scenes or remastering certain shots, the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road - Blood And Chrome Edition subtracts all the film's color, leaving a black and white, and potentially very pure version of the movie.
Miller's Black And White Vision
In an introduction to the special edition, Miller explained why he always felt the Mad Max movies were meant to be shown in black and white. It all stems from the production days of what many consider to be the best entry in the original Mad Max trilogy, original sequel The Road Warrior.
The best version of 'Road Warrior' I ever saw was when the composer Brian May was on the soundstage conducting the orchestra. In those days, in the recording studio, they used what they called a "black and white dupe." It was a very, very crude, cheap version of the color print. And I remember walking in there for the first time, and see the first every black and white dupe of 'Road Warrior' and I thought "Oh my god, that's how the movie should've been."
He explains the artistic value of a monochrome Fury Road, which he originally tested with a few scenes after asking the film's colorist Eric Whipp to eliminate all of the color in specific moments. The end results were, according to Miller, "fantastic," so he pushed for an entirely black and white version of Fury Road. The director says,
Something about black and white, the way it distills [the film], makes it a little bit more abstract. Something about losing the information of color makes it a little more iconic.
Miller isn't the first director to prefer a monochrome print of one of his films. Frank Darabont has similar taste, and used black and white visuals as a heartfelt throwback to the old movies he grew up with in alternate versions of more than one film. Some of his preferred monochrome cuts are that of his film adaptation of Stephen King's novella The Mist and the very first episode of AMC's hit horror series, The Walking Dead.
The Mad Max and Happy Feet director also acknowledged that some of Fury Road's scenes work better in black and white, while others are better left in color. Despite this and seemingly expecting some disagreement from fans, Miller left the doors open for both criticism and praise for the black and white version of Fury Road.
[Source: Yahoo! Movies]
The 'Blood And Chrome' Edition
Originally labeled as the Black And Chrome Edition, the Blood And Chrome Edition of Mad Max: Fury Road keeps the original movie intact, and offers a version with the vibrant desert-themed color palette muted to black and white.
The Blood And Chrome edition's release will also coincide with the upcoming Mad Max: High Octane Collection, a collection of the remastered Mad Max movies. The Blood And Chrome Edition is also a part of the High Octane Collection, giving buyers a total of five Mad Max movies (the original trilogy and two versions of Fury Road) upon purchase.
The High Octane Collection comes with an abundance of special features, interviews and feature length documentaries that cover the Mad Max movies. These documentaries are Madness of Max, a look back at the first Mad Max movie released in 1979, and Road Wars, a production diary focusing on the making of The Road Warrior and its iconic chase scenes.
These special editions of Mad Max can be bought December 6, 2016 and are only available in Blu-Ray format.
Even if the Mad Max: Fury Road - Blood And Chrome Edition sadly won't restore any of the scenes left on the cutting floor, it's still nice to see Miller getting the chance to express his artistic vision in its true form.
The Mad Max movies redefined the action movie and the art of visual storytelling in general, and now, viewers will get a chance to see Miller's true visions for his groundbreaking movies. Fury Road is already great in its current form, and seeing it again but with Miller's newly added personal touch will definitely be an experience.
The mere existence of Mad: Max Fury Road in this day and age of blockbusters laden with computerized special effects is in itself a miracle, and even more so is the chance for George Miller's artistic vision to see the light of day.