George Miller created, wrote, and directed the original Mad Max trilogy over a six-year period from 1979 to 1985, launching the career of Mel Gibson in the process of developing a vision of a post-apocalyptic hellscape that is future, energy-starved Australia. After a 30-year break that saw him leave behind post-apocalyptic nightmare landscapes in favor of developing properties like Babe and Happy Feet, Miller is preparing to return to the world of Mad Max in 2015–and the first trailer, which debuted at San Diego Comic-Con, offers a compelling glimpse into why.
With Gibson replaced in the title role by Tom Hardy, the trailer captures some of the fascinating details that have leaked about Fury Road. It’s nearly wordless, save a few choice lines of dialogue, which seems appropriate given that Hardy, as Max, reportedly speaks a mere 16 lines in the entire film. In fact, according to Hardy and co-star Charlize Theron, Fury Road had no conventional screenplay at all, but rather a series of detailed storyboards to guide the filming process. The quiet, image-based, brutal, and striking trailer seems to play that out–and while these aren’t the words you typically find to describe a big-budget blockbuster reboot of a cult property left for dead 30 years ago, the trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road reflects a well-conceived, well-shot, compelling film with a clear reason to exist. The fact that you won’t have to look at a smirking Mel Gibson and imagine that he silently calls all of the post-apocalyptic road warrior ladies he encounters “Sugar-Tits” is merely a bonus.