Australia’s film industry just keeps booming, with the welcome news that the latest instalment of the Mad Max franchise will be filmed in New South Wales — the biggest film to ever be filmed in the state.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the movie will create 850 local jobs and inject at least $350 million into the state’s economy, calling the state the “cultural capital” of Australia.
Starring homegrown hero Chris Hemsworth, who recently moved to Sydney from Byron Bay with his family, the prequel — titled Furiosa — will be directed by Oscar-winning director George Miller and shot all around NSW including in Broken Hill, which was the location for Mad Max 2.
“This has always been our home, Sydney and NSW, and we have shot so much here,” Miller said. “It means we are keeping the really brilliant talent here who previously went overseas.”
Furiosa is scheduled to be released in 2023 and will enjoy an actual cinema run, unlike many films of the past 18 months which had to be released to streaming services due to COVID-19 closures and restrictions.
For Thor: Love and Thunder star Hemsworth, the opportunity to take on such a role is one that carries the equal weight of excitement and anxiety.
“It’s something I’m going to put my heart and soul into because it really is for me, out of everything I’ve done, the biggest pinch-myself moment because I’ve grown up watching it,” Hemsworth said before adding filming locally was a huge motivator for agreeing to the project.
The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy will star in the film with Hemsworth, along with Yahya Abdul Mateen II.
The first three Mad Max films, which starred Mel Gibson in his breakout role, all found mainstream success with the first film holding the distinction of being the most profitable movie created for a decade.
In 2015 Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, grossed around USD $375 million at the box office.
News of the huge blockbuster comes after what has been a prosperous time for the Aussie film industry thanks, in part, to the generous filming incentives provided by the state and federal governments.
A slew of Hollywood productions have made Australia their production hub, from box-office smash Godzilla vs Kong, Ticket To Paradise starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts and God’s Favourite Idiot starring Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone. These are in addition to the Marvel films that are likely to be shot here over the next five years as the studio looks to set up shop in Sydney.