There’s that saying, popular with fans of long running franchises, I think it goes something like “No, oh god no don’t touch X series of films” in relation to film studios wanting to re-boot, re-make or make direct sequels to modern classic films and with Mad Max, I have to say that that feeling was sort there as well.
How dare someone (even George Miller, the dude that made Mad Max) touch the franchise and aspire to do anything new with it? You know all re-boots and sequels to old franchises suck don’t you? Well no, they don’t and Mad Max Fury Road proves that and it proves that there is always potential for great new direction in old franchises and that new installments in franchises don’t tarnish or harm the original. I’ve found that with online commenters especially, there seems to be a feeling of possession in relation to their favourite franchises that they love as a kid or grew up with and that’s fair enough I suppose, you don’t want the films you love to be butchered or a rubbish re-boot but that’s not always the case. Fury Road has proven to be a runaway success and while it’s been out for just over a month now, it’s already gotten critical acclaim across the board and I’ve seen several critics hail it as the best film of the year so far and I wonder where all the skeptics that thought the film would be a terrible idea disappeared to…
Yeah the large majority of re-boots or direct sequels to older franchises tend to be a bit crap, let’s say from the past 15 years or so but I would say that there’s always room for improvement and with technology having progressed, it’s much easier to make a technically and visually better film right now. And it’s not sacrilege to want to get a sequel to something like Blade Runner, which quite a few fans of the film think is, I adopt the viewpoint of new films being new films, they don’t affect the original and of course they follow on from the story directly and exist in that universe but the original classic will always be that.
I’d like to say that my position isn’t fully black or white on the issue though, I’m not really a fan of re-makes or re-boots but I’ll happily watch one done well and at the same time I’m never been the type of fan to say a franchise should never be touched again in any way shape or form, though I may have felt that way with Star Wars if I grew up with the original trilogy. Ultimately I think that new, fresh direction in a franchise can be a good and even a great thing, the Star Wars prequels as hated as they generally are brought new planets, vehicles and characters to the franchise for example, Fury Road has done a similar thing for Mad Max so to adopt a anything new is bad viewpoint is a bit naive. New things getting adaptations from existing franchises isn’t always bad and Fury Road has proved that.