George Miller Imagines Two Futures After 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

The filmmaker believes Furiosa either creates a utopia, or she becomes a tyrant herself.

Five years ago, George Miller unleashed Mad Max: Fury Road, a film that went on to earn six Oscars and remains strong in the public consciousness. Miller has spoken publicly about his desire to some day make a prequel focusing on Furiosa, the warrior played by Charlize Theron in Fury Road. But what about what happens after the credits role? In a new interview with journalist Josh Horowitz, Miller conducted a thought experiment into what might come next, given history, myth and storytelling as a guide.

"I've often thought about it. There are two ways to go," Miller said of what comes after Furiosa frees the people of the Citadel from the rule of Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). "One is utopian, which is not an interesting story, really. I've somehow imagined that the first thing she would do in line with that, is go up and release the water ... it wasn't withheld. … A New Deal, politically."

However, Miller notes that such a thing isn't likely, and draws upon influential theorist Joseph Campbell to explain why it is more likely Furiosa would become a tyrant.

"Campbell said that the usual story is that today's hero becomes tomorrow's tyrant. The hero is the agent of change. They basically relinquish self-interest in order for some common good," said Miller. "[Campbell] basically says … you love what you've built, or saved, too much. You become holdfast. You become the orthodoxy. You develop the dogma and basically then you have to protect it. That tends to be the rhythm of these things."

Still, Miller admits he's "torn between two things" and that perhaps Furiosa wouldn't fall into such a pattern.

"I think she's too smart to fall into that trap. She's already seen it with the Immortan Joe," said Miller. "I believe he went through the same process. He was probably a heroic character in his own time."

The hour-long conversation is a crossover between MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast, hosted by Horowitz, and Metaverse, a new online convention from ReedPop that runs through Sunday. In the interview, which you can see below, Miller also fields questions from directors who admire him — Gina Prince-Bythewood, Rian Johnson, Patty Jenkins and M. Night Shyamalan.