What happens after you win?
That’s the question George Miller was asked during a recent interview at this year’s digital New York Comic-Con event, particularly in regards to Furiosa, the most interesting character to come out of Mad Max: Fury Road and the subject of an upcoming prequel movie. Since we are getting a look into Furiosa’s past soon enough, her future is, well, an intriguing open question. Her story, from a cinematic point of view, is pretty much over: she won. What happens after?
“There’s two ways to go. One is utopian: I imagined the first thing she’d do in line with that is go up and release the water,” Miller said, as transcribed by Collider. “Campbell said that the usual story is that today’s hero becomes tomorrow’s tyrant. The hero is the agent of change. They basically relinguish self-interest in order for some common good. [Campbell] basically says... you love what you’ve built, or saved, too much. You become holdfast. You become the orthodoxy. You develop the dogma and basically then you have to protect it. That tends to be the rhythm of these things.”
Whether or not you agree with Joseph Campbell, there’s some truth to that idea: that victory is often not the most flattering thing that can happen to you, and that moment of heroic triumph might end up being a peak, and not necessarily the beginning of a lifetime of excellence. Sometimes, to end a story when you do is a merciful act. Keeping our eyes on heroes after their time might mean seeing them decline, go sour, or turn into villains themselves.
But would that really happen to Furiosa? Would she become her own villain?
“I think she’s too smart to fall into that trap,” Miller ultimately concludes. “She’s already seen it with Immortan Joe. I believe he went through the same process. He was probably a heroic character in his own time.”
Immortan Joe as a hero is one prequel I, uh, do not want to see. The Furiosa movie is currently in the conversation stage, and will hopefully become a reality in a future sooner rather than later.
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