Moviehole has posted an interview with Happy Feet director Geroge Miller. He discusses the future of the Mad Max franchise:
Since bursting on the Australian movie scene with 1979's Mad Max, Miller has directed about a dozen films and produced slightly more, from the remaining Mad Max films, to the diverse likes of The Witches of Eastwick, Lorenzo's Oil and the Babe films. Miller has no regrets about his limited choices, and asked why he makes so few films, he says it's because his real passion is writing. "Most of the films I come up with are original screenplays." Miller was actually ready to make the fourth Mad Max film before turning his attention to the Antarctic and Happy Feet. Mad Max IV was to star the original Max, Mel Gibson, and was Miller's latest original screenplay. "We were about three months off shooting when the Iraqi war came and the American dollar collapsed against the Australian dollar so we lost our budget. Also, we couldn't get the container ships out because of security and stuff." Max was put on hold, but Miller's writing was tested differently. "I never Imagined I'd get into animation, CG and a dancing film. To some degree we're pushing the limit of the technology, trying to advance it in some ways and doing those things are slightly pioneering, all of which takes time."
After devoting the last several years to Happy Feet, it is not surprising that Miller will take some time off to spend with his family, recharge his batteries, before working on what he describes "as a much smaller film." That will be followed by the long awaited Mad Max IV, but without Mel Gibson. "Though I think there will be another Mad Max; the time has gone where Mel can be in it. I think the last opportunity was about four years ago and you know the character's lean and hungry. He was twenty one when he first played Mad Max and he's now in his fifties Also I think he's much more interested in what's happening behind camera than in front. It needs a lean and hungry actor and he's not into acting so much anymore and I think he just loves producing, writing and directing. But I think if fates allow there will be another Mad Max though it is certainly two films away for me, but the time's gone when Mel can run around the wasteland anymore."