Now that we're in the thick of awards season, some are still surprised that the summer blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road is in the thick of the race, with 10 Oscar nominations including nods for Best Picture and Best Director, for George Miller. While the film is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD, producer Doug Mitchell revealed last month that there is a black-and-white version of the film that may get a new theatrical release sometime this year. Unfortunately, that's only partially true, with director George Miller confirming to The Los Angeles Times that the black and white cut does exist, but it won't be released in theaters. Here's what he had to say, when asked if we will see this black-and-white version soon.
"Not in cinemas. The best version of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was what we called a "slash dupe," a cheap, black-and-white version of the movie for the composer. Something about it seemed more authentic and elemental. So I asked Eric Whipp, the [Fury Road] colorist, 'Can I see some scenes in black and white with quite a bit of contrast?' They looked great. So I said to the guys at Warners, 'Can we put a black-and-white version on the DVD?' There wasn't enough room. [It'll end up] on another version with commentary and other features."
There was a greyscale and silent version was leaked online in September, but it has since been removed. Back in May, George Miller promised that the black and white version of Mad Max: Fury Road would be included on the Blu-ray release, but this version didn't make the official release. The director revealed in his May interview that the black and white version is the best possible way to watch the film, but we'll have to wait and see if this B&W release comes to fruition. Here's what he had to say about why the black and white print is the best version, in his May interview.
"We spent a lot of time in DI (digital intermediate), and we had a very fine colorist, Eric Whipp. One thing I've noticed is that the default position for everyone is to de-saturate post-apocalyptic movies. There's only two ways to go, make them black and white - the best version of this movie is black and white, but people reserve that for art movies now. The other version is to really go all-out on the color. The usual teal and orange thing? That's all the colors we had to work with. The desert's orange and the sky is teal, and we either could de-saturate it, or crank it up, to differentiate the movie. Plus, it can get really tiring watching this dull, de-saturated color, unless you go all the way out and make it black and white."
Unfortunately, it isn't known when this special black and white cut will be released on Blu-ray or DVD yet, but there certainly are plans in the works to let fans see this unique version. Would you buy a new version of Mad Max: Fury Road just to see the black and white version? Or do you think it's already being over-hyped? Chime in with your thoughts, and stay tuned for more updates.