One of the hotter stories of the week has been the rumor that George Miller was done making Mad Max movies, mere months after saying that he’s got two more stories to tell within the post-apocalyptic wasteland. It all stemmed from a Page Six interview in which he was quoted as saying, “I’ve shot in Australia in a field of wild flowers and flat red earth when it rained heavily forever. We had to wait 18 months and every return to the US was 27 hours. Those ‘Mad Maxes’ take forever. I won’t do those anymore.”
Two days later, Miller is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road and with that came an opportunity to clarify that original quote. In speaking with The Wrap, he insists that he was misquoted:
“That was a completely garbled interview. I was in New York and it was so noisy and the journalist was asking me questions on a red carpet at the National Board of Review. She completely got the wrong fragments of information that were just not true. I said no, [another ‘Mad Max’ movie] will not be next, and she took that to mean I never wanted to make another ‘Mad Max.’ It won’t necessarily be next, but I have two more stories.”
In short, a red carpet soundbite was unreliable. As Mad Max fans, we can all stop panicking now.
This all makes sense. Following the long, hard road to get Fury Road to the finish line, Miller is going to take a little break from the wasteland. It doesn’t sound like it’s going to be the same kind of break that he took between the last two Mad Max films, but he’s earned a little time to do something different. And with his Awards season packed with honors (and more yet to come), Miller should enjoy some of the creative freedom that he’s long deserved.
Next: George Miller: Our Filmmaker of the Year
The other reason not to worry: Studios don’t just let a blockbuster film make $375 million at the box office, get nominated for 10 Academy Awards, then not push for a sequel. Mad Max 5 might not be coming soon, but it’s far from dead and buried.