I really need to train my brain to stop being so cynical. When the first pictures of [Mad Max: Fury Road](tag:41445) were released to the world, I'll admit I scoffed at them. I couldn't see how Tom Hardy could simply be pasted on to such an iconic role. The span of time since Thunderdome seemed so huge that any continuation of the series was a desperate cash grab. It took a few great trailers, some news of fantastic production decisions, and of course, the actual movie to convince me that Fury Road wasn't just a great Mad Max movie; it was the best one.
And here I find myself in the same position as before, asking just how the proposed sequel, Mad Max: The Wasteland could possibly live up to the potential bottled lightning that was Fury Road. I don't even know if I should call this movie Mad Max 2! Yes, there technically already is a Mad Max 2, but in the US, it was released only as The Road Warrior, so perhaps Mad Max 2: The Wasteland will be carrying on a very particular Fury Road flavored canon.
I've written before about how the next Mad Max can top Fury Road, but the real question is whether any future endeavors could establish the framework for a new trilogy entirely. Does George Miller's winning streak have two more films in it? A movie is nothing if it's only there to live up to the one before it, and any great project first needs intent, so here are a few things that could ensure the Mad Max series either sinks or swims after Fury Road!
Hovercraft War Rigs
Pretty much the entirety of the Mad Max series has been concerned with cars. Engines, Guzzoline and burning rubber have always been the main focus, but with the series pushing on into the far future, why not introduce more fantastical ambitious vehicles to punctuate the action? I would love to see the same vibe that was achieved with the War Rig in Fury Road, but with something akin to a giant hovercraft. We could see wind-powered vehicles, super speedy tanks or even airships jostling for control of the wasteland!
Aeroplanes and Gyrocopters
So who else loved the Gyrocopter Captain from Road Warrior, and wondered why an incarnation of him didn't appear in Fury Road? Bruce Spence is still going strong, and he isn't tied to one character as Thunderdome showed us. He could totally make an appearance in the next movie as a more airborne type of survivor. Look closely at a particular moment in Fury Road, and you'll see the skull of someone who appears suspiciously familiar to the Gyro Captain adorning the buggy that Max is strapped to the front of. Now that hardly says anything solid about the very loose continuity of Mad Max, but it at least confirms the possibility of that kind of character appearing.
My only worry with Mad Max 2 adopting aerial vehicles would be seeing the very tactile, literally grounded action scenes go out the window. Airborne dogfights are extremely hard to shoot, and even then, rarely look good without copious amounts CGI lending a hand. If there's one thing the Mad Max movies can't afford to lose, it's the very immediate visceral thrill you get from the stunts on screen.
The Mad Max movies have always focused on the fantastical and ridiculous places that human minds go after the apocalypse rather than the scientific and or supernatural ramifications. This is why we've never been treated to any carnivorous desert mutants in the guise of Fallout 4 or Borderlands. The War Boys in Fury Road were technically mutated beings, though they still acted as very human figures. Introducing super powered creatures in Mad Max 2 could detract from the very human fear that we could all become a part of this. Two headed lizards is as weird as we need for now, for anything else would truly be a departure from the Mad Max aesthetic.
What would you like to see in Mad Max: The Wasteland? Let us know with a post here on MoviePilot, by voting in our poll, or leave a comment below!