Last night, George Miller arrived in Austin for the very first time ever for a truly special event, a 35mm presentation of his iconic sequel, The Road Warrior, as part of the 2015 SXSW Film Festival Special Events line-up. Miller also debuted, to a theater full of eager fans in attendance (including this writer), a look at what we can expect for the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road, which arrives in theaters on May 15.

The Road Warrior screening itself was an amazing experience, featuring a newly struck print of the film that loomed larger than life on the big screen. Undoubtedly one of the greatest action films of all time, this was my first time ever seeing The Road Warrior on the big screen, and to see it with this crowd was truly incredible.

Following the screening, Miller returned to the stage with Hitfix’s Drew McWeeney to talk about the sequel which launched the career of Mel Gibson here in the States some 30+ years ago and show off a fantastic scene from the upcoming Fury Road. Miller previewed for us about seven minutes that gave some sense of the style of the film and introduced us to Tom Hardy’s iteration of Max and also featured Charlize Theron’s badass character, Furiosa.

“It’s weird to compare the two but there’s a little bit of a preamble to it and then there’s this part of the movie which is the beginning of the second act that you’re going to see,” Miller explained beforehand. “Max has been captured and he really begins to feel like a trapped animal so he’s quite disturbed. It goes on from there. And there’s Furiosa and she is escaping across the wasteland and she’s being chased by hordes of gangs and this will give you an idea of just why that’s happening.”

And while I won’t go into too many details on just what we saw (for the sake of spoilers), what really impressed me most about the clip was just how vibrant and striking the footage looked (the amount of texture was incredible) and that Theron’s character was beyond badass (at one point, she takes down Hardy with a spear-like wrestling move that had my jaw on the proverbial floor).

The second video that debuted during SXSW was a special trailer cut just for the Austin event and will only make an appearance at an upcoming event in Las Vegas. The clip won’t be available online or released to theaters either but gave the audience a much bigger look at Miller’s post-apocalyptic world and some of the chaotic action and violence he has in store for us in May. Again, I won’t go too in depth just so I don’t ruin it for anyone but suffice to say, Fury Road looks like everything you could possibly want out of a Mad Max movie but cranked up to 11.

Here are some of the other highlights from Miller’s Q&A following The Road Warrior:

Miller on revisiting Mad Max 2 after all these years: I have to say I felt a lot of emotions, memories- it was like time traveling. It took me right back, seeing it on the big screen. And then comparing it in my head, kind of twisted in knots comparing it to what we’ve just done on ‘Fury Road’ and seeing that it's so similar and so different at the same time. You’re watching a very bewildered man right now. I’m trying to process it all so thank you all for the love you showed during this event tonight.

Miller on Emil Minty who portrays “The Feral Kid” and Gibson’s Canine Companion in The Road Warrior: He just walked in the door and he was just like that. He didn’t have long hair or growl but he just had this energy. He was a wonderful kid. He was an orphan boy; he was fostered and he had the most wonderful time on the film. He’s gone on to become a jewelry designer so he’s had a wonderful life.

This (screening) also reminded me about the dog too; we didn’t have animal trainers so we went to the pound and they took me to all the dogs that were about to be euthanized and it was really bad because I had to pick one dog, which meant….well, you know. But that dog picked me. He came out, he picked up a pebble and he put it at my feet, then looked up at me. I picked up the pebble, threw it and he came right back to me. So we knew that was the dog.

He had a wonderful personality but he was so crazy. The two guys, who were most often just dummies, on the front of Humungus’ vehicle- he would pick up a pebble and often leave it in front of the dummies all the time (laughs).

Miller on creating the unseen backstories to his iconic characters: Anytime in the process, unless the actor knows and unless everyone working on it knows these things, then there is no sort of authenticity to the project. Again, on Fury Road we worked really hard on that because we had the time and the budget to really prepare the proper way so we put a lot into it before we started shooting.


  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.