Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

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Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

Postby biolumen » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:39 pm

Fury Road co-writer Brendan McCarthy did an interview this week, talking mostly about comics, but he also touched on his involvement in the development Mad Max 4. The interesting part of the audio stream I've linked to below starts at around the 38th minute, but a rough transcript is provided here as well.

One of the great things that happened to me, probably THE best moment of my life was...umm...I was very obsessed with the Mad Max films when I was younger, and was completely obsessed with Mad Max 2, and I used to write...I mean, I had my geek loony moments...and I used to write these letters to George Miller, the guy who wrote and directed Mad Max, about Mad Max. I'd send them off to him. Never heard anything, of course. He's thinking, "nut".

Fast forward 20 years later and...ahh...I designed a TV series called 'ReBoot', which was the very first long form computer animated thing. Before Pixar's 'Toy Story', 'ReBoot' came out. In it, we did an episode where we pastiched The Road Warrior, and I took all the characters of The Road Warrior and I did these silly versions of them. They're quite funny if you know Road Warrior. And I sent it to him [Miller], and I wrote "Whatever happened to Mad Max?". Then two weeks later I get a phone call, "Hi, this is George Miller from Sydney." He basically said, "Hey, what is this? What are you doing?", and I said "well, it's computer animation...blah, blah, blah...it's a new thing. It's going to be huge." He said, "would you be interested in doing a Mad Max TV series with us?", and I said yes.

So, I met him. At the time I was working in Vancouver on this TV show 'ReBoot', which was being made in Canada. He said, "I'll be in Los Angeles next week" and I said, "That's cool. I live in Los Angeles. I'll see ya." So, I flew down to LA, pretended I lived in LA, and ambled up to the Beverly Hills...whatever it was. And...ahh...quite nervous about meeting him, 'cause he was probably THE director out of all of them...Spielberg...of all of them that I really was most interested in. So he said, "Anyway, we're thinking of doing a kind of 'Zena: Warrior Princess' version of Mad Max.", and I went, "meh". I just went...you could obviously see that I was completely bored. He went, "What's wrong?", and I said, "Why don't you do Mad Max 4, for God's sake! I mean, whatever happened to Mad Max? Well, he's still out there somewhere in the Wasteland, you know?" I said, "If you ever do it, the story should be about...", and off I go, and he's probably thinking "I've got a live one here." But, we just clicked, and we got on really well, and he said to me, "Would you be interested in writing Mad Max 4 with me?" I said, "No, get out of my face."

Of course, obviously, I said yes, and then I ended up going to Australia for 2 years, working on...writing and designing Mad Max 4. To me, that was the one...you know, where you think...it's really weird, isn't it. You know the people that give those terrible Oscar speeches where they say, "When you're a kid and you have a dream, believe it, because this is why I'm here." It's actually kind of true. I was so obsessed with Mad Max...for most everyone else it was Star Wars, for me it was Mad Max...to actually then end up sitting there writing it, and then when you've done it, and then in through the door walks Mel Gibson, you're going, "Here's Mad Max himself!" You think, "God almighty, this is weird." It's quite a weird thing to come from being born in Lambeth...comics...Mad Max...and then you're sitting there actually writing Mad Max and saying, "No, you wouldn't do that."


McCarthy said in another interview earlier this year that he hasn't been in contact with Miller since the previous attempt at making this movie was stopped, so I'm hoping that Miller is still making the movie he and McCarthy originally conceived. I mean, to have the movie originate from the mind of a comic book writer who's been obsessed with Mad Max 2 his whole life could only be a good thing, right?

http://www.archive.org/details/PanelBor ... anMccarthy
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Re: Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

Postby biolumen » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:04 pm

As a suppliment to that, here's a bit from an interview McCarthy gave back in 2005. No details, of course, but he gives you a general idea of what might be in store for us.

Interviewer: On that note, can you tell us more about Mad Max and is it in any way similar to Freakwave?

McCarthy: No, it’s not even like Freakwave – it’s not aquatic. I can’t say too much about Fury Road because number one, I’m legally obligated not to talk about it in any specific way.

The only thing I can say is that the whole thing is written – I spent over 2 years co- writing it with the original guy, George Miller, and I designed it as well. As we went along, we approached how we wrote the movie like animation where you get a rough draft of the script and you start storyboarding it. You get the storyboards and put them into what’s known as a story reel where we scan all the storyboard frames and put them into sequence – so that you actually have motion and duration of time. And gradually we built the whole movie through still pictures with a little bit of panning and stuff, just like an animatic.

George Miller’s thing with Road Warrior, for example, was that he did it completely silently – so it had to work without dialogue. Mad Max is a very pared down world – people don’t say a lot and we wanted to be able to tell the story visually. So that was a fantastic experience – I was a huge Mad Max fan. For a lot of people it was Star Wars, for me it was Road Warrior. To be trusted with this character and to take him where he needs to go – I took it very seriously. The last thing I want to see is a shitty Mad Max film. Thunderdome - the first half wasn’t so bad but it fell apart in the second half with all the kids. This was an attempt to do a serious Mad Max Film. It’s called Mad Max: Fury Road, but it could be called Mad Max: Unforgiven or Mad Max: Apocalypse Now. It’s got that kind of feel to it. It’s a serious piece of work that’s in a genre mode.


http://www.2000adreview.co.uk/features/ ... thy4.shtml
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Re: Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

Postby Santar » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:42 pm

Thanks for the link.
Very interesesting, both interviews.
Not too sure I like the "silent movie" thing tough. I like good character focus, like I felt Thunderdome had more of than Road Warrior.

At least it seemed Gibson was certainly part of the movies plans back then..
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Re: Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

Postby roadwarriormfp » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:34 pm

Interesting reading.

Santar wrote:Thanks for the link.
Very interesesting, both interviews.
Not too sure I like the "silent movie" thing tough. I like good character focus, like I felt Thunderdome had more of than Road Warrior.

At least it seemed Gibson was certainly part of the movies plans back then..


I think you missed the point. The movie isn't a "silent" movie, but was filmed in such a way (due to the fact there was very little dialogue in MM2) that the "actions" speak louder then words... so to speak.
Its a visual movie.
Any one who doesnt speak english can watch it and understand what is happening through out the whole film.
You rarely see any sort of interaction between characters.
A short conversation and then it quickly moves on to the next scene.
We are 100% snafu....
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Re: Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

Postby Santar » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:58 pm

Of course I realise that.
I just said I'm not sure I like the idea.
It would be nice with a more character driven and story focused movie, but we'll just have to wait and see, it might be awsome either way.
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Re: Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

Postby biolumen » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:46 pm

roadwarriormfp wrote:Interesting reading.

Thanks. There isn't a whole lot McCarthy can say about Fury Road, so it's not surprising to find so little from him talking about it. When Miller announced back in March that he was thinking of making an anime of Mad Max, McCarthy offered his opinion.

When I read, over at io9, that George Miller might be thinking of finally starting work on MAD MAX IV, but as a 3D animated film, I had to ask Brendan McCarthy for his perspective. "Mad Max 4 Fury Road as a possible animated cgi feature, was mooted many years ago, when Mel Gibson was involved and I was still working on the movie. I think it could be good; think of the opening first third of WAll-E's blighted urban landscape. But the FURY ROAD screenplay I co-wrote with George Miller would need to be revised to take advantage of the different medium of cgi mo-cap animation. Maybe it will go in a totally new direction. I haven't had anything to do with any of this for over 5 years, so things may well have changed quite a lot. Either way, I'll be in the line to see it in 3D!" So that's from the horse's mouth: McCarthy is not currently closely involved with this (still delicious sounding) movie. Though I hope when Miller does start working on it, that the final product bears plenty of Brendan's influence, visually or otherwise.

http://www.badlibrarianship.com/2009/03 ... v-and.html

I also found an earlier entry on the same blog that offers a note of interest

There's been some strange, inaccurate and downright misleading posting going on around the internet in the wake of the rumours that George Miller has restarted production on MAD MAX 4: FURY ROAD. So here's the facts so far, as verified by a certain regular source for BAD LIBRARIANSHIP, I'm sure you can guess who [McCarthy].

The new Mad Max movie script titled FURY ROAD is based on a screenplay written by George Miller and Brendan McCarthy. And not as reported elsewhere, just by Brendan, who is a well-known British comic book artist and writer and a great fan of the Mad Max films. They spent about two years in Sydney writing and designing the feature. Brendan was initially hired by George to kick-start the fourth installment of the Mad Max series as story artist and designer. This was so fruitful that Brendan went on to co-write the movie with George Miller and also to create a new cgi animated feature to follow HAPPY FEET.

How much the completed MAD MAX 4 movie will resemble this fully illustrated script remains to be seen. But there are plans to publish the screenplay, complete with boards and designs, should FURY ROAD ever be made and released.

http://www.badlibrarianship.com/2007/10 ... -maam.html

I'd love to see all the artwork McCarthy did for the original Mad Max 4 even if Miller has decided to take Fury Road in a different direction.
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Re: Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

Postby Copwatch » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:48 pm

So, not only did McCarthy write Fury Road, but apparently, there's an unused draft of Happy Feet 2 with his mark in the byline.

The plot thickens.
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Re: Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

Postby biolumen » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:18 pm

Copwatch wrote:So, not only did McCarthy write Fury Road, but apparently, there's an unused draft of Happy Feet 2 with his mark in the byline.

I don't think "Fur Brigade", if that's what you're referring to, was designed as a sequel to Happy Feet. Rather, it was to be it's own CGI animated film, one directed by McCarthy himself. Probably not going to happen now.

http://www.badlibrarianship.com/2005/02 ... u-are.html
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Re: Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

Postby biolumen » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:47 am

I can't help but think that in comparing Fury Road to Coppola's 'Apocalypse Now' and Eastwood's 'Unforgiven', McCarthy is unknowingly telling us what Fury Road might be about. The two movies mentioned by him have several things in common. Each features a character who has gone off the deep end. Brando's Kurtz is a military officer in 1960's Vietnam who has gone insane, leading a troup of east asian natives in a campaign of genocide against a perceived enemy. Eastwood's Bill Mummy is a mass murderer of men, women and children in retirement as a pig farmer in the Old West. Both are being sought by another character. One has orders to kill, the other is seeking to hire. I think the story of Fury Road's Max is somewhere in there.
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Re: Brendan McCarthy talks about the conception of Mad Max 4

Postby Uncle Entity » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:01 am

I don't fucking understand why in the new movie Max should be "evil". That would waste the perfect, poetic ending of Beyond Thunderdome - his legendary status as heroic, lonely wanderer/warrior. Why on hell?

AND if they make Max the "villain", it must be just for the first half of the movie, then he must come back as the Road Warrior/Captain Walker of the sequels. And I want an ending where he is wandering in the Wasteland again... this time with the BoB?
Mel Gibson's Max to Tom Hardy's Max: "give me my life back, interdimensional counterpart!"
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