George Miller has broken hearts worldwide, saying that he won’t be directing any more Mad Max movies. Despite previous talk of sequels the 70-year old Miller cites the colossal scale, length, and challenges of the Fury Road production as reasons for his unlikely return to the franchise.
Yes, indeed. According to Miller, whatever fate any sequel to Mad Max: Fury Road — the best reviewed movie of 2015 on Rotten Tomatoes and this very site’s most outstanding movie of the year — will have, it will most likely be out of his hands.
I know, Furiosa. I know
So, who else could take the reins?!
It’s thought experiment time!
After leaving Furiosa and The Citadel, Max heads out by himself along the Fury Road, aimless, as far as his supplies will let him. When he pauses for a water refill beside a miraculously happened upon fresh water spring, he decides to set up camp for the night in order to enjoy a brief glimpse of a world he barely even remembers. Jolted awake at night by strange noises, he grabs his gun and goes to investigate the one source of light in the pitch black. He begins to hear and follow what sounds like faint music, and soon discovers a well-hidden underground den where a strange, large, grotesque family of mutants, resembling an unholy mix of human and fox, are engaged in a squabble while the last functioning vinyl player in the world plays David Bowie’s ‘Aladdin Sane’ album. At first fearful and distrustful of each other, the two groups soon reach a mutual understanding and Max reluctantly agrees to help the fox-mutant family settle an inheritance dispute, with Max deciding to stay, ‘For a little while [grunt].’ Just to, ‘See how things go [head nod].’
Max could never quite deny his old cop curiosity, no matter how mad he got; so when he slips away from The Citadel he decides to head back to the infinite salt fields on which he convinced Furiosa and her band to make one last desperate dash for freedom. He stares out at the expanse, the words of hopelessness he delivered before to Furiosa echoing in his ears. A resolve comes over his eyes and he re-checks his supplies, takes a mighty swig of water, and heads out into the endless abyss.
Except it’s not endless. After two weeks’ ride the climate begins to slowly change: salt begins to turn back into sand, and then the temperature actually cools and the ground starts to look a bit more like clay. Scattered rock formations become less and less scattered until they begin to resemble settlements and even buildings. Max has found the last remaining city in the Wasteland. A city that exists under a perpetual twilight due to the intense cloud cover. And there are people too! People living with a primitive, atavistic form of law and order. But the somehow-neon-lit city has problems. Problems that only a mad cop would even begin to imagine he could fix…
It turns out that the survivors of Immortan Joe’s war parties managed to somehow make it through the rock slide, and they arrive at The Citadel a few days after Furiosa’s ascent. Anyway, they attack and there’s two more sequels, composed entirely of CGI chase scenes, but neither Max not Furiosa are important to the plot in any way because instead of them there’s a badly designed Orc, because - gasp! - the Wasteland is in Middle Earth! Also the laws of physics don’t exist.
A group of deranged, half-starved outcasts witness the ascension of Furiosa from the edge of The Citadel, noticing with interest her bidding subtle farewell to the departing Max. Instead of letting him fade away into the heaving mass of people, they surreptitiously follow him. Max reclaims his car and confronts the crew violently after they approach him just as he is getting in, ready to set off for lands unknown. They explain that they are not actually from The Citadel but are visitors from a far off land, sent here by their all-powerful leader to document life in other settlements in an effort to find a certain type of person to bring back to their home. Max shrugs them off and prepares to depart, but just before his car bursts into life one of the crew hurriedly reads aloud a letter from their leader. Max sits motionless, car engine running, transfixed by the strange, cryptic message, and when it’s over he beckons the crew get in. He speeds off, asking no explanation, only directions. After an exhausting ride through uncharted territories the motley band arrive at their destination, and await audience with the crew’s mysterious enigmatic leader…
Spoiler alert: the leader is Werner Herzog.
Max is recast as Johnny Depp, Furiosa as Helena Bonham Carter. Max decides that fading away into the crowd and disappearing is far too poetic and makes too much sense from a character and narrative perspective so instead he changes his mind and leaps up onto the platform. He and Furiosa embrace but share a strange, awkward look. They start a bickering relationship and decorate their hole-in-the-rock abode with all manner of fantastical objects and designs. The plot is then somehow just expected to happen because of those things. In 3D.
Flashback to Max as a little boy. Broken family. No strong father figure. An animal sidekick. Schmaltz. Stirring music. The end. An Oscar or two for some reason.