George Miller, Halloween, Saw: Weekly Round Up

George Miller

George Miller, as a director, has always fascinated me. That’s in no small part down to the fact that his filmography is deliriously varied. Having burst onto the scene with Mad Max and then Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, he followed those films up with movies such as The Witches of Eastwick, a segment in the Steven Spielberg produced Twilight Zone movie, the family-friendly sequel Babe: Pig in the City and both Happy Feet movies. That’s a pretty bizarre collection of films, don’t you think?

Four years ago, George Miller returned to the scorched earth of the Mad Max franchise for a fourth instalment in the series, this one acting as a sort of reboot, Mad Max: Fury Road. Fury Road was incredibly well received when it was released, a box office smash and a critical darling, it was even nominated for 10 Academy Awards, winning six. That’s no small feat for an action movie the revels so excitedly with its own genre.

But, Mad Max: Fury Road is brilliant. An epic, fast paced thrill ride that favors practical effects over CGI, and seemingly jump-started a long-stalled franchise… only, it didn’t.

Despite the movies success clearly suggesting sequels would be on the way, and George Miller own revelation that he was working on, at the time what was thought to be, two follow-up movies, legal issues meant that they simply never materialized. It was a shame, but it seemed like Fury Road might remain a solo outing for Hardy’s take on the iconic character, and that was that.

Until this week, when we got the news that not only are the sequels back on, but there’s actually going to be three of them, and not the two originally thought!

Miller, when talking about the sequels, said; “It seems pretty clear to me that it’s going to happen”. According to the man himself the recent merger between Warner Bros. Pictures and AT&T have resolved the legal issues with the series and paved the way for the franchise to move forward. Reportedly, of the three new films proposed, two will focus on Max Rockatansky, while one will follow Charlize Theron’s Furiosa on a new adventure.

Count me among the excited here. Fury Road was a hell of a lot of fun and I’m game for anything George Miller throws at us. Before he gets to work on these new movies, he has to complete his upcoming one, a fantasy romance titled Three Thousand Years of Longing, and starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton. Still keeping it varied, it would seem.

While we’re on the subject on long awaited sequels, last year saw horror movie powerhouse Blumhouse release Halloween, a soft reboot of the Halloween franchise, and a sequel to John Carpenter’s iconic original. The film saw Jaimie Lee Curtis return to the role that made her famous, and followed the franchise long, complicated history of playing it fast and loose with continuity, this time choosing to ignore all the events of every film in the series but the first (including, rather bizarrely given the plot, Halloween II… I mean, seriously, why would Laurie be worried Myers would be coming back for her specifically if she was just the random next person on his killing spree first time round? The sister explanation makes so much more sense, doesn’t it?).

That movie, directed by David Gordon Green and written by Green and Danny McBride, made all the money, and so it wasn’t long before Blumhouse greenlit the sequel.

However, this week we got the news that not only will Jamie Lee Curtis be returning to the role of Laurie Strode once again, but that this sequel will, in fact, actually be two sequels, shot back-to-back, and produced by the same creative team behind Halloween 2018. Scheduled for release in 2020 and 2021 respectively, the new films will reportedly round out a trilogy that begins with Halloween 2018 (and not the original somehow… I don’t know anymore) and will be titled Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.

I’ll remain cautiously optimistic. Halloween 2018 was okay, but it had some really silly moments, and I still think ignoring the original Halloween II was a mistake on every level, especially when considering the new films plot and the way characters treat Michael Myers. However, overall, I enjoyed it, and any new Halloween is always going to, at the very least, be fun, right?

Halloween isn’t the only horror franchise getting new entries in 2020. The Chris Rock Saw film, which isn’t actually a Saw film but is more of a spin-off, apparently, has been bumped forward from the assumed October 2020 release date to summer of that same year, pitting it against the Scooby Doo reboot, Scoob.

The Organ Donor, as Rock’s Saw film is sometimes called, remains something of a mystery in that we still don’t know an awful lot about it, other than that Rock has cast himself as the lead, a police Detective investigating a series of gruesome crimes, and that Samuel L Jackson is also on board, and will be playing Rock’s father in the movie. How all this factors into the Saw universe remains a mystery, but the shift in release date means that this will be the first film in the series to not receive the October slot.

Another movie we know very little about is The Hunt, which, until this point, has been described as nothing more than a “political thriller”. Of course, political thriller could mean anything from All the President’s Men through to Enemy of the State… actually, political thrillers are a pretty narrow genre, so describing something as such seems relatively clear cut.

The statement was, apparently then, a lie on behalf of the filmmakers, as The Hunt, as was revealed with it’s teaser trailer, isn’t actually a political thriller at all, but more of a horror.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love the mystery, and it makes me very curious to see an otherwise somewhat predictable sounding film. Admittedly, The Hunt appears to be a sort of remake of The Most Dangerous Game, in which a group of people find themselves hunted by the super-rich, which is… y’know, timely, and so I’m interested anyway.

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Alex Secker is a writer/director/editor. His debut feature film, the micro-budget thriller Follow the Crows, won Best Independent Film at the Global Film Festival Awards, while his stage-play, The Door, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Swinge Festival.


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