George Miller’s last three movies were Happy Feet Two (2011), Happy Feet (2006), and Babe: Pig in the City, but back in the late 1970s and 1980s, the director made his bones with a trilogy not so family friendly. Not by a long shot. Mad Max (1979), Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome were action movies with brains in their collective portrait of a horrifying future dystopia where mere survival is a day-to-day battle.
Perhaps Miller grew tired of dancing penguins and sweet-natured pigs, or perhaps he noticed that the world’s people are still burning through resources and killing each other rate at an alarming rate. Whatever the reason, he’s returned to the Australian Outback and resurrected Mad Max with Tom Hardy—last seen as a well-meaning blockhead in Locke (2013), a taciturn bootlegger in Lawless, and Batman villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (2012)—taking over the role from Mel Gibson. Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures unveiled a teaser trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road at last weekend’s Comic-Con, it’s furious action, explosions, and outsized violence compressed into 2:44 minutes signaling that Miller hasn’t grown soft in the intervening decades since Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Of course, moviegoers won’t know that for sure until next May 15 when Mad Max: Fury Road arrives in theaters, but this is one promising trailer.–Pam Grady