submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 15.03.2007
Sydney Morning Herald. Thursday March 15, 2007. Page 3.
Mad Max is set to reach the screen again … but not just yet.
The director George Miller, who made his name with the Mad Max trilogy, confirmed yesterday that he still plans to make a fourth instalment. "If the fates allow, I definitely will," he said at his first Australian film industry appearance since winning an Oscar for Happy Feet last month.
Before making the celebrated penguin musical, Miller went within weeks of shooting Mad Max: Fury Road but ran into the start of the Iraq war and other issues that blew out the budget.
He plans to return to Fury Road but thinks that Mel Gibson's age and preference for directing will rule him out of resuming the iconic role. And Miller has other movies he wants to make first, including a Happy Feet sequel and a Japanese anime.
"The minimalist style of Japanese anime really, really intrigues me so I'd like to do one of those in collaboration with a Japanese director," he said.
The Oscar, for best animated feature, surprised Miller as much as most Hollywood pundits. "It was very nice because I just didn't expect that we would win," he said. "The bookmakers in Las Vegas and all around had the Pixar film Cars as the favourite … I was just grateful that we'd made a film that was seen by millions of people around the world."
The announcement of the films selected for the Aurora script workshop next week brought Miller together with two other noted directors - Jane Campion, who is patron of the program, and Fred Schepisi, whose planned film Mr Darwin's Shooter is one of the selections.
Miller said Happy Feet's success gave a misleading impression of the health of the industry.
"Once we were doing really well. Now it's up to a time where all of us, I think, have to do a lot more with a lot less."
Intense competition from a huge number of countries and just about every American state meant Australian governments at every level had to co-ordinate their film-making efforts to compete.
Schepisi, best-known for The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, described the state of the industry as "crap" and "awful".
"We've got to make films that are going to stimulate people and hopefully be economic successes as well," he said. "But there's been too much chasing the economics side with bad judgement as opposed to 'Let's get original and fantastic films like the way we started and excite an audience'."
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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