Mad Max The Wasteland: When Fury Road was released in 2015, the movie was a major critical and commercial triumph. So why hasn’t Mad Max 5: The Wasteland been released in the intervening seven years?
Many fans were left wanting more from the titular antihero after seeing Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015, leaving many to wonder why the fifth Mad Max film is taking so long to arrive. Long pauses in the Mad Max franchise’s production schedule have never bothered the franchise. Even though The Road Warrior quickly followed mad Max, the third film of the franchise, Beyond Thunderdome, took much longer to reach theatres in 1985.
Meanwhile, the fourth Mad Max film, Fury Road, took over three decades to make, with Tom Hardy replacing Mel Gibson as Max, as the actor had aged out of the character that made him famous. Despite the franchise’s leisurely pacing thus far, the intense action of Mad Max: Fury Road left many fans of the series unable to wait for the next instalment. Despite the sequel’s critical praise, no new Mad Max film has been announced in the years since.
Why is Mad Max: The Wasteland taking so long to hit theatres? It’s been almost seven years since Fury Road rekindled the brand, so what’s the hold-up?
The answer is intricate, involving a pending lawsuit, a future Furiosa spinoff film, and series star Tom Hardy’s prior obligations. While Furiosa’s canon backstory may be onscreen (relatively) soon, Mad Max: The Wasteland won’t be in theatres for a long time due to the obstacles stated above, and the franchise may wind up being dormant for up to 10 years (or more, depending on the schedules of its star and director).
The Wasteland in Mad Max 5 is explained.
Despite what Mad Max fans may have imagined, the fifth instalment has been announced, and star Tom Hardy revealed that he signed on for more than one film before the release and subsequent popularity of Fury Road.
During the filming of Fury Road, original creator and director George Miller set great intentions for the fifth film’s storey. Still, even the most ardent Mad Max franchise fans will have difficulty uncovering any facts about these ambitions.
At the moment, viewers only have a title to rely on, with Miller revealing that the upcoming sequel will be named “The Wasteland.”
The sequel’s chances are excellent that the movie will follow Max through the titular post-apocalyptic environment. The title may eventually explain how the Mad Max franchise’s world ended in-universe.
The series has a reputation for being ambiguous about the reason for its off-screen catastrophe, with several films blaming nuclear war, fuel shortages, or a combination of the two for the world’s end. As a result, The Wasteland is expected to fill in this gap by explaining what happened to Max’s world between the first and second films, putting a stop to the Mad Max franchise’s shifting background.
Why Is Mad Max 5: The Wasteland Taking So Long To Release?
While the fifth Mad Max film title is well-known, the reason for its postponement is a different tale. Miller’s production firm sued Warner Brothers, the distributor of Mad Max: Fury Road, in 2017 over a $7 million bonus that they claim remained unpaid, delaying any attempt to get a sequel off the ground.
Despite Fury Road’s phenomenal box office and critical success, this lawsuit delayed the production of the next Mad Max film for several years before another issue arose. A new project in the franchise was announced in October 2020, although it wasn’t a Fury Road sequel.
The Mysterious Furiosa
Furiosa’s spinoff film, according to Miller, will be the most expensive and ambitious in the Mad Max franchise to date, with a massive budget and scope. The spinoff won’t be released in theatres until July 2024, meaning The Wasteland will have to wait even longer for a sequel.
Miller recast Charlize Theron’s character with the younger Anya Taylor-Joy due to the original actor’s ageing out in part due to the Furiosa movie’s delays.
This, combined with the fact that the film’s release date has been pushed back from 2023 to 2024, indicates that the Mad Max franchise is taking its time with its first spinoff, implying that The Wasteland will have to wait even longer. But action legend Charlize Theron isn’t the only one whose career change impacts the sci-fi action franchise’s future.
Tom Hardy, the star of Mad Max, is quite busy
Tom Hardy has gone from strength to strength as a blockbuster leading man since his Mad Max breakthrough in 2015. Add in the fact that Hardy is one of the top three contenders for James Bond, and Mad Max fans are in for a perfect storm postponing the next instalment in the franchise.
While the success of Venom: Let There Be Carnage may have caused a delay in the development of Mad Max: The Wasteland, fans of the sci-fi franchise may find the thought of Hardy portraying 007 much more troubling. Even while Eddie Brock is expected to feature in future Spider-Man sequels, the broad scope of the MCU implies that entire movies might be made without Hardy’s involvement (at the very least).
On the other hand, playing James Bond would be a very different matter, as a 007 film would be incomplete without its leading man. The recent cinematic adventures of the suave super-spy have been slow to come in theatres, with three years passing between Skyfall and Spectre and six years between Spectre and No Time To Die.
The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to part of No Time To Die’s delays, but the espionage franchise was already slow to make and release new films before this problem.
As a result, fans of the Mad Max films may be concerned that Hardy taking on the role of Bond will lock him into yet another blockbuster franchise with a long wait for new instalments.
On the other hand, Hardy has yet to be offered the role of 007 and may likely turn it down, especially given the critical reaction of recent Bond films, which pale in comparison to Fury Road’s universally positive reviews. As a result, Mad Max fans may not have anything to worry about regarding the franchise’s future – albeit it will take a long time to find out.