3 Things We Want to See in Mad Max: The Wasteland

By  · Published on May 19th, 2015

Warner Bros.

Mad Max: Fury Road may not have topped the US box office over the weekend, but it’s still very likely we’ll be seeing more from this refreshed franchise fairly soon. In a recent interview for The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith, Mad Max series writer/director George Miller went so far as to reveal that the next installment will be titled Mad Max: The Wasteland. And while that hasn’t been officially greenlit by Warner Bros. just yet, the global grosses have been great and the studio expects favorable word of mouth, so it’s not just an empty promise.

Miller has a few ideas for the continuation of Max’s adventures – not surprising given how long it took Fury Road to be made – yet he’s not giving away more than the name for now. He told Goldsmith that he’s already got one screenplay and a novella but provided no other details. Is the latter now a literary spin-off for Furiosa? There have been reports that Charlize Theron isn’t eager to return to the franchise (Tom Hardy is signed for three more as needed), so unfortunately fans may have to settle for her tales in text rather than on the big screen.

Until we do hear more about more Mad Max, here are three quick wishes I have for the next movie:

1. No Furiosa — I guess this is sort of a non-thing, or the absence of a thing. I love Furiosa as much as everyone else, but if Theron is interested in coming back, she deserves her own movie spin-off. Besides, the Mad Max movies continue to work as isolated adventures, each a kind of folk tale that needn’t be consistent with the rest because that’s how folklore goes. Having Max and Furiosa together again, even for a bit, will take away from that model.

2. More Hugh Keays-Byrne — The actor who plays villain Immortan Joe in Fury Road also played the main antagonist in the first Mad Max. Never mind the fact that he’s already missed out on two other installments, he should continue to be a staple of the series and play another main villain in The Wasteland. Or they could try for a pattern and get Kjell Nilsson, who plays Lord Humungus in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, for the part.

3. Tom Petty — The Heartbreakers front man paid tribute to The Road Warrior with his music video for “You Got Lucky,” and he’s already appeared in a movie heavily influenced by the Mad Max movies, The Postman, and he was its best part. Just like in that movie, he should just play himself. And if that happens, Dr. Dre should also appear in his outfit from the Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome-inspired music video for 2Pac’s “California Love.” Both together would make up for Tina Turner.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.