For almost as long as videogames have existed, filmmakers have been trying to bring them successfully to theaters — and failing. George Miller, however, aims to change all that.
In a recent chat with Newsweek, the Happy Feet director divulged his console-related plans; perhaps unsurprisingly, they dovetail with one of his screen projects — and no, it isn’t Justice League of America:
Well, the first one will be a “Mad Max” game. Because what happened was, we were all ready to go, within eleven weeks of shooting the next “Mad Max” movie, “Fury Road.” This was way back when the war in Iraq started, and that really threw this out for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which was that the American dollar crashed against the Australian dollar. And apart from that, just insurances, getting vehicles and stuff there on container ships — all that slowed down around the world. So we had to move on to “Happy Feet,” because that was going to take a long time.
We were all ready to go on “Fury Road,” but instead of going off and shooting “Fury Road” straight away, I said “Okay, now that we’ve got that whole world prepared, let’s work together with somebody, if there’s someone out there.” And that started off on the path of trying to get together with Corey. Not handing it off to some third party game developer as we did on “Happy Feet,” but to try to do it all as a piece, in the hope that we overcome that problem of making bad films from good games or vice versa.
“In other words,” he continued, “I’m delaying the movie in order to do a really good game.” According to Miller, the fourth Mad Max was in “a very highly advanced stage of preproduction” when he hit the pause button — and Mel Gibson had “all but signed to play the lead.” Five years makes a big difference, though; the director says Gibson’s days of playing the character are “long gone now.”
Conspicuously absent from the interview was any talk of the JLA movie — writer N’Gai Croal refers to it as “on hold” at one point, and Miller lets it pass without comment. The bulk of their conversation is focused on Miller’s vision for a future in which stories jump much more seamlessly between platforms. As the director puts it:
If you’re much more interested in games than movies, then you might enter the story through the game. Or you might enter the story through the film and move towards the game. It’s still the same story. It’s still the same characters. It’s still the same world. It’s just that you can approach the characters and the world from different angles.