George Miller, original director of the Mad Max series of movies, has revealed plans to make an anime sequel to the classic post-apocalyptic, petrol-scavenging movie that propelled the then unknown actor Mel Gibson to stardom.
This news was released on the MTV website yesterday, with little in the way of concrete details other than the Australian director’s declaration that the next Mad Max film, the first in 14 years, will be an anime, and will not involve Mel Gibson.
Miller, who directed all three films of the series, [Mad Max (1979), Mad Max 2, also known as The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)] is quoted thusly:
“I see myself as someone who is very curious about storytelling and all its various media…I’ve always loved anime, in particular the Japanese sensibility. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
No information is given on possible studios, producers, or cast, so the project may well still be in the early stages of planning and take years to materialize, but Miller has recently worked as a director in Warner Bros. projects that include the 2006 Oscar-winning family friendly animated CG movie, “Happy Feet”, so the 64 year-old director does possess the clout and wherewithal to make his announcement be taken seriously.
Information is definitely scarce at this point, but one interesting, additional nugget is the following quote from Miller:
“The anime is an opportunity for me to shift a little bit about what anime is doing because anime is ripe for an adjustment or sea change…It’s coming in games and I believe it’s the same in anime.
There’s going to be a hybrid anime where it shifts more towards Western sensibilities. Kurosawa was able to bridge that gap between the Japanese sensibilities and the West and make those definitive films.”
Putting aside the immediate concern likely to result by the implied conceit that an Australian director’s vision for Japanese-style anime might be preferable to that held by the Japanese anime studios themselves, one conclusion that may be reached is that the Mad Max anime might not even involve any Japanese anime studio at all, as Miller has previously worked on an animated film and that he seems determined to not make the adaptation a traditional anime.
In any case, further news of the Mad Max animation will likely be of interest to many, if for no other reason that live-action to anime adaptations are (for obvious reasons) much more palatable to otaku then when the process occurs in reverse.