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Comic Con: Mad Max: Fury Road panel with George Miller!

Jul. 26, 2014by: Eric Walkuski

Let's not mince words: MAD MAX: FURY ROAD looks amazing. Warner Bros. showed off a brilliant extended trailer for the George Miller film today in Hall H to a rapturous response. The film, described as being in the same vein as ROAD WARRIOR, appears to have cost about $8 billion if my eyes are to be believed. George Miller was in attendance, but stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron were not (although Charlize sent a nice little video message championing Miller at the front of the panel). Here's what went down

- First there was an awesome tribute to the previous three MAD MAX movies; just great footage from all three rolled into one splendid trailer. Warner Bros. would do well to release this online at some point.

- Miller came out and spoke about revisiting the franchise. He said he had the story in his head for a while and it just wouldn't go away. That said, years ago he never would have imagined that he'd actually get to make it.

- He's always loved chase movies because it's the purest form of cinema. FURY ROAD is essentially one long chase sequence.

- 7,500 storyboards were apparently drawn up for the film; it was basically the way Miller wrote the screenplay. He said there aren't many words spoken in the film, people only speak when they have to. This is primarily a story told in pictures.

- Miller describes the movie as a western on wheels. Not unlike the previous films, there's no law or honor, just primal violence and survival.

- "For some reason, I just love wrecking cars," Miller said.

- Chris Hardwick made a crack about Mel Gibson "really turning into Mad Max." Miller, a bit taken aback by the joke, went on to say there's an element of danger to every charismatic person. He compared Hardy to Gibson in an offhand way, saying he can be extremely lovable, but sometimes he's like watching "a big wild animal" in that you don't know what you're going to get from him at any given moment.

- Charlize plays a character named Furiosa; Max gets swept up in her story, even though, as always, he just wants to be on his own.

And then the trailer. I'll attempt to just highlight the visuals that stood out to me the most, but honestly there was just so much going on in this preview that it was dizzying. I wrote down words like "fire tornado!" "lightning!" "two-headed lizard!" "crashes" "Nicholas Hoult WTF?!" and so on; it was at least six minutes long. Bear with me.

- Trailer begins with a two-headed lizard running toward Max, who has long hair and looks as wild as ever; it seems as though he's fiddling with a radio. He stomps on the poor thing.
- Max says in V.O. "My world is fire and blood."
- The villain is a badass-looking beast called "Immortan Joe" - he's played by Hugh Keays-Byrne who happened to be in the first MAD MAX as "Toecutter." He's got wild hair and a strange breathing mask that covers the lower half of his face. A very intense dude indeed, he appears to be on the hunt for Theron's character.
- Max is captured by a roving gang (after they run his car off the road). In one sequence he's bound, shaved and tattooed by the savage-looking folks.
- Naturally, there look to be about 200 car crashes in the film, all of them accomplished with practical effects. As in the other movies in the franchise, every car has been outfitted in elaborate ways to survive the landscape, so if you're a fan of the vehicles in ROAD WARRIOR you'll not be disappointed here.
- One of the major set pieces in the film includes massive tornados, as cars attempt to avoid getting sucked into them. A couple do, of course, and they fly and crash through the air in operatic fashion. There's heavy CGI here, so don't believe the rumor that everything will be done practically. It looks impressive as all get-out though.
- Nicholas Hoult's character is clearly a total maniac. During the aforementioned tornado sequence, he drives a car while Max hangs off the back of it and begins spray painting his own face while driving like hell and screaming, "What a lovely day!" Don't ask me what that's all about, but it was bizarre in the extreme.
- Max evidently turns the tables on Hoult's character, as we see him carrying his unconscious body through a desert.
- Many, many shots of vehicles driving through the desert, many explosions, many crashes. Can't stress enough just how many damn car crashes there will be in this movie.

To be perfectly honest, there was so much more carnage but I can't even recall it all. It really does appear as though the film is one non-stop bundle of carnage and excitement, and there wasn't a single thing I didn't like about what I saw.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD hits theaters in May 2015. it's simply not fair that we have t wait so long.

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