George Miller Talks MGM, ‘Three Thousand Years’ and ‘Furiosa’

Amazon and MGM may have completed their $8.5 billion merger in March, but don’t expect to see ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing,’ director George Miller’s fantasy love story, airing on Prime Video on August 31 at the opening of the film.

Miller is a true believer in movies and the movie theaters that house them. “It would be very painful to know that your film will first be seen in streaming,” he says. Variety.

“There is a commitment that they cannot change. MGM will release it at the end of August in 2,000 theaters. There was no deal with MGM to air the film. At this time, it will be a theatrical release. See it in this cinema [the Palais]with that sound, that group of people, and knowing every little bit of work that we put into it, will be available to the public.

The film is adapted by Miller and first screenwriter Augusta Goran from the short story “The Djinn in the Eye of the Nightingale” by AS Byatt. The film tells the story of Alithea (played by Tilda Swinton), a scholar who meets a djinn (played by Idris Elba) who offers her three wishes in exchange for her freedom.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on movie theaters, with many having to close even after the vaccine was released. However, Miller is not worried about the future of cinema. “I think congregations of people telling stories have evolved since the earliest times of man,” he says. “Cinema just has to adapt to it.”

It was five years ago, when George Miller sat at a table with Tilda Swinton at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, and the two chatted for hours when it occurred to the Australian filmmaker that she would be perfect to play Alithea. in the long-term project. . “He’s a bit of a chameleon.

It wasn’t until he chose Swinton that he knew Elba was the only person capable of playing the djinn. “You can’t choose anyone. It is the yin of the yang.

Working with two of today’s most versatile stars, Miller calls his two lead stars “movie actors,” which he explains, “They’re there to do a lot more than just support the character. They are there to find strategies and the best way to make the film.

One of the most dynamic directors in business, the 77-year-old has never been bound by any genre or medium when it comes to the films he has made. He won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature for “Happy Feet” (2005). Additionally, it earned nominations for “Lorenzo’s Oil” (1992) in Original Screenplay, “Babe” (1996) for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay, and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) for Picture. and achievement.

“Fury Road” was another long gestation and was set to begin production in 2001 with Mel Gibson set to reprise his role. However, after the September 11 attacks, it was difficult to secure production according to Miller. By the time the film was ready, Gibson had faced an avalanche of bad press and scrutiny for his anti-Semitic remarks and he was no longer able to be in the film.

When talking about his passion for cinema, Miller recalls the day he fell in love with the art form. His eyes look up at the wall behind me, and you can see him flash back to when he was going to college and studying medicine. He was going to class when he saw a poster: “there were woman’s legs and two fingers making the sign of peace”, he describes. He talks about Robert Altman’s “M*A*S*H” (1972), which was unlike anything he had ever seen before. “I went out, in the sun, came right back and watched it a second time.”

After stepping out of the cinema – it was now dark – he was aware of the potential of cinema and what it could be. On his way home, he passed an art house cinema where they were playing “The Battle of Algiers” (1966). He walked in and the black and white war movie gave a completely different experience. He was hooked.

His next project will be the highly anticipated ‘Furiosa’, a spin-off of ‘Fury Road’ which will star Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth, which he will return to shoot in Australia on May 24, having already filmed a major streak. . He calls the sequel “a saga”, which will take place over a period of 15 years, unlike its predecessor which lasted three days in its period.

As for ‘Mad Max: The Wasteland,’ the working title of what was supposed to be the direct sequel to the six-time Oscar winner in 2015, we shouldn’t expect it anytime soon, nor do we know if Tom Hardy will be reprising his role as Max. “We have another story, but it hasn’t fully evolved yet,” Miller says. “We’ll see further down the chain.”