Will ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Be the Surprise Blockbuster of 2015?

The first trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road debuted at the San Diego Comic-Con where it quickly established the film as one of the most anticipated of 2015. Featuring the series’ familiar post-apocalyptic landscape and gritty, over-the-top action, the trailer reinforced the belief that a return to the Mad Max world was definitely in order after more than 25 years in development hell.

Starring Tom Hardy as “Mad” Max Rockatansky, Fury Road is the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise and sees the return of director George Miller who wrote and directed Mad Max (1979), Mad Max 2 (1981), and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) — all of which starred Mel Gibson as the titular character. Fury Road, which also stars Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Zoë Kravitz, is described as a reboot of the iconic character.

“He’s a rebooted Mad Max, but it’s a new interpretation,” Miller told Indiewire in 2011. “We made it very clear from the outset that it would be crazy to try to impersonate what Mel [Gibson] had done.”

The official synopsis of the film is as follows:

Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max (Tom Hardy) believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa (Charlize Theron.) They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.

Miller describes Fury Road as an action film from start to finish. “I wanted to tell a linear story — a chase that starts as the movie begins and continues for 110 minutes,” he told Entertainment Weekly. He also told the publication that the film doesn’t rely much on digital effects and even less on dialogue, revealing character and story through the film’s start-to-finish action sequence. 

Watching Fury Road’s trailer, it becomes clear that Miller isn’t exaggerating. The film bristles with kinetic energy as Max is captured in the opening moments of the trailer before a group led by Imperator Furiosa (Theron) catches up to them, leading to some impressive and bizarre action sequences. One standout sequence shows the enemy descend upon the heroes by snatching them off their vehicle using flexible poles not unlike a pole vaulter would use. Additionally, the film’s production and costume design are top notch both acknowledging the earlier Mad Max films while pushing it in exciting new directions.

With an estimated budget of around $100 million, Warner Bros. isn’t messing around when it comes to Fury Road, choosing May 15, 2015 for its release date despite the fact that Avengers: Age of Ultron debuts only two weeks before. The film reportedly went over budget and over schedule, prompting Warner Bros. to send executives to the set in order to maintain control on the production. But if the film’s trailer is any indication, Warner Bros. may have a big hit on its hands if the actual film lives up to the promise of the trailer.

[mediagraph-partner content_url=”8486264a437fe65e7f9c63ac”][/mediagraph]

More From Entertainment Cheat Sheet: