Somewhere down in Australia, work is racing ahead on George Miller‘s Mad Max 4: Fury Road, even as I type. Not many details are becoming public knowledge, though we do know that Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron apparently have the lead roles and we’ve even seen some of the car-stars on video. While the film’s plotline, timeframe and relationship to the last three installments remain largely shrouded in secrecy, every little scrap of news is premium. Excuse me then, for being quite excited about the latest developments.

First of all, it has been reported that the film will be in 3D. Maybe calculating that is not rocket science, what with this ‘Avatar effect’ in full swing and all. Seondly, the story goes that the film is to combine live action with animation. Sure, just about every genre film does that these days, but to even mention it suggests that the quotient of animation will be quite high.

There was talk some years back about the next Mad Max film being entirely animated. This then translated into there being two Mad Max films in development, one CG and the other live action. Today, word crosses France (including a report in Tout Le Cine) that the film currently in production is going to blend the two media.

If we can take this rumour on face value, and it isn’t necessarily the case that we can, there’s at least an origin to all of the separate rumours of CG Max and non-CG Max that we’ve been sifting through for the last few years. Just because shooting is taking place at Broken Hill, it doesn’t mean shooting is taking place outside – this could be a green-screen or even simulcam-shot motion capture production, either of which would explain the requirement of ample animation.

I’m going to tread lightly on Happy Feet because it’s a film that’s incredibly easy to spoil for those who haven’t seen it, but suffice to say, those who do know it will perhaps find it easier to swallow that Miller is planning a CG/live-action mashup for Mad Max.

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