The 88th Academy Awards came and went and actually managed to pass without too much controversy or scandal. Chris Rock did an exceptionally capable job of hosting, remaining true to himself and speaking truth to power without making things too uncomfortable for the Hollywood elite in attendance. There were some winners and losers and some definite surprises and upsets (looking at you, Ex Machina for Visual Effects), but overall we were rather pleased with how our favorites performed.
One of the biggest stories from the awards has to have been the success of a little flick you may have seen called Mad Max: Fury Road. The Australians won big at the Oscars this year with George Miller’s Fury Road taking home six awards out of its 12 nominations, easily earning more than any other film of the evening. The awards were all in technical categories, though the movie was also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director. The success at the Academy Awards was remarkable for such a mainstream film, especially one that focused so much on action and style. This recalled the success of other Oscar-winning mainstream franchises/films such as The Lord of the Rings, Avatar and, Gladiator, and they have more in common than you might think.
One of those similarities would be belonging to the esteemed pantheon of Oscar-winning films that also boast their own video game adaptations. Among these are classics like Lord of the Rings and The Godfather, which received perfectly acceptable, if somewhat mediocre, adaptations. And then there’s E.T., which is responsible for what is largely considered one of the worst video games of all time. In fact, thousands of copies of the E.T. game went on to inhabit a New Mexico landfill (an occurrence that led to a documentary of its own).
Gladiator took home five Oscars, including Best Picture and notably Best Actor for Aussie thespian Russell Crowe. Interestingly enough, Gladiator went the safer route in gaming, as its own title exists on a casual gaming and casino platform. It features everyone’s favorite Romans and continues to capitalize on the on the renewed interest in the “sword and sandals” genre that the movie (re)popularized. Mad Max can also count itself among this company with an ambitious open-world game based on the post-apocalyptic franchise. It was released last fall to surprisingly positive reviews for a licensed movie game that tasks players with drive through acres of dystopian desert.
Given the critical and commercial success of the renewed cult franchise it only makes sense that Miller and company would try to repeat the feat. We have our fingers crossed that a sequel won’t be too long in the making. Apparently, the highly anticipated follow-up to the award-winning movie is currently in production. It will concern the backstory of Imperator Furiosa (played by the egregiously snubbed Charlize Theron), and Tom Hardy is also already confirmed to reprise his role as Max. Miller has gone on record that he has finalized the storyline for the sequel, but he also said it might be some time before we’re whisked away to the wasteland once again. He has also hinted at wanting to make a smaller, less intensive film for his next project.
Follow the success of his surprise cinematic gem, we agree that Miller has definitely earned himself a bit of a break. However, we can only hope that the 70-year-old director won’t stay away for long, because more Furiosa would surely be fantastic.