A desolate man stands with a heavy bag atop a sand dune, looking at the vastness of the desert sprawled in front of him. The sky is swathed with the heat of a thousand suns. He’s thirsty, his canteen is almost empty. ‘My name is George Miller’, the man’s husky voice reverberates, ‘I trawl this desert named Hollywood’.
Strewn across the desert are rectangular black boxes with pictures of movies on one face. Vacant posters float across the dunes, taking them wherever the wind turns. The sand on the dunes shifts slowly as Miller walks across them. Images from his past flash in his head from time to time, showing him a bygone era and a traumatic event that changed his life forever. An image of a dancing penguin suddenly flashes and he screams. He holds his head to remain calm, rubbing his sand soaked hair to restrain himself. It doesn’t help much because Babe, the talking pig then appears in front of him, and he falls on his knees to the ground and screams again.
‘Too much damage has been done’, Miller says, ‘there’s no going back. It’s the end of the road for me’. He’s old, no longer fit, lacking inspiration and mostly dispirited by the products in his industry. The lure of easy money had corrupted him when he made Happy feet 2. He had not once but twice made great sequels in the past, when dancing penguins were not in the league of Babe: Pig in the City and Mad Max The Road Warrior. He loathes himself, and ever since the box office of Happy Feet 2 he’s been wandering the desert, scavenging for minerals just to survive. When you spend your whole life fighting a system, winning gloriously, and then falling right into the system’s trapdoor, self-respect goes for a toss. You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.
Miller walks aimlessly in the burning heat, sweating and wheezing. He stops to take a swig from his canteen, when the wind blows it away. ‘This is the moment to give up’, he thinks, ‘my life is over. I shall die remembered as the director of Happy feet 2’.
The wind suddenly blows a photograph smack on his face. He peels it off, and sees a picture of Mel Gibson in a black car. The sound of a rumbling engine kicks inside his chest. There’s a tiny spark. It all comes back to him. He throws away his bag and runs. He’s faster than the wind, as he scales a dozen dunes. He stops suddenly, and gazes upon the machine in front of him - a black car standing majestically amid the sand. ‘This is it’, Miller whispers, ‘if a sequel almost killed me, a sequel will make me reborn’.
He gets inside the car, slams the door shut, hits the ignition and slams on the gas. As the car careens through the sand Miller is formulating in his mind the greatest action movie ever made in the history of cinema. ‘It’s got to strike a balance between fans of the original movie and newcomers’, he realizes. Out in the distance a cloud of sand can be seen. Miller looks through the binoculars to see the cloud is formed by a bunch of renegade degenerates on bikes making their way towards him, with a clear intent to kill him. ‘Studio execs’, he mutters, ‘they’re ruthless’.
He jams the accelerator, and the element of surprise is too much for the execs – they just stare wall-eyed at the incoming Miller’s car that smashes through all of them, sending little pieces in the scorching air.
There isn’t much time to celebrate because a horde of gangly degenerates on All Terrain Vehicles suddenly show up on the left and open fire. ‘Goddamn Expectations, I’m gonna gut you like a fish’, Miller mumbles, 'witness me'. He presses a button and a machine gun unfurls from the side of the car and opens fire. Bullets hit the ATVs, sending the Expectations flying in the air, smashing into the rocks.
The noise of the chaos is heard by the dreaded clan of the Franchisers, who swarm into their gigantic trucks with twisted designs and begin chasing Miller’s car from behind. Miller looks in his reverberating rearview mirror and smiles. He drives straight into a desert storm, challenging the Franchisers to follow him. They take the bait, and some of their vehicles are swept away by the storm, while the others ate struck by lightening.
‘Oh what a day... What a lovely day!’, Miller screams, as he shifts gears, blazes through the storm in the direction of the city metropolis. His modern masterpiece is ready to be unleashed upon the world. He’s going to call it ‘Fury Road’.
(First published in Firstpost)