Will George Miller return to direct a new 'Mad Max' movie?

Recently, Miller reportedly stated that he would not make any more 'Mad Max' movies. How common is it in Hollywood for directors to stay for multiple movies in a franchise?

Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Pictures/AP
'Mad Max: Fury Road' stars Tom Hardy.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” director George Miller may not be returning for future films in the dystopian series. 

“Fury,” the newest movie in the series in 30 years, was a box office and critical smash. The movie has picked up award nominations from such groups as the Screen Actors Guild.

The movie’s director and co-writer, though, may not be coming back if there are future installments in the “Max” series. 

“I won’t make more ‘Mad Max’ movies,” Miller said, according to Page Six. “‘Fury Road’ with Charlize Theron, Zoë Kravitz, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Riley Keough was forever getting completed. If you finish one in a year, it’s considered a leap of faith. Start, stop, start again… Those ‘Mad Maxes’ take forever. I won’t do those anymore.” 

Even if a new “Mad Max” movie is made without Miller, though, this wouldn’t be unusual in Hollywood today. Some of the most successful franchises that have been in theaters recently have switched directors between movies.

When the movies were released in the 1970s and ‘80s, every original “Star Wars” movie had a different director (George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, and Richard Marquand took on the duties, respectively). 

Now the new and planned “Star Wars” movies seem to be using a similar method. J.J. Abrams directed the recently released smash hit “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and directors Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow are scheduled to direct the second and third films, respectively, in the new series. 

The “Mission: Impossible” movies, which have been some of the highest-grossing movies of the last several years, have switched directors every time. Most recently, Abrams, Brad Bird, and Christopher McQuarrie helmed the movies. 

The “Fast and the Furious” film series has switched directors as well, with Rob Cohen, Justin Lin, and James Wan each leading the production of a sequel. Both the "Hunger Games" and "Harry Potter" movies switched directors over their run, though they experienced less variety than, for example, the "Star Wars" series.

This is, of course, not always the case. Director Bryan Singer, for example, has directed many of the movies in the “X-Men” film series. 

There are no doubt drawbacks to this switching of directors. A new person on the job is building on what came before and attempting to create a cohesive story.

But switching directors and thus getting a fresh creative perspective and possibly different strengths has earned praise from critics in some cases. “McQuarrie doesn't change the prescription for what makes this franchise so successful, nor does he have the most practiced hand among the series' directors at milking the big action sequences for all they're worth,” Hollywood Reporter writer Todd McCarthy wrote of the newest “Mission: Impossible” movie. “But he's deepened the dramatic involvement.” 

Meanwhile, Justin Chang of Variety wrote of the film, “’Rogue Nation’ feels like the most dramatically sustained and conceptually unified picture in the series. To be sure, McQuarrie isn’t as flamboyant a stylist as his predecessors Brian De Palma and John Woo… But whatever the filmmaking may lack in visual or visceral impact, McQuarrie… more than compensates on the written front.”

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