Hollywood had another successful year in 2015, where it dominated the global film market with a huge range of studio blockbusters, sleeper hits, and big-budget sequels. However, in a year that saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens become the third highest grossing movie of all time, whilst reinvigorating the stagnant franchise in the process, you’d be hard pressed to find another movie from 2015 that resonated with the fans to such a degree.
Sure, Jurassic World and Furious 7 dominated the box-office globally — both movies grossed more than $1 billion dollars outside of the U.S., as revealed by The Hollywood Reporter — and won the hearts of fans, but if you put aside the obvious candidates and bypass the films that were guaranteed to break big, one film became such a surprise hit that no one saw it coming. It dominated the award ceremonies, especially the Academy Awards, where it scooped six of its ten nominations, became one of the first action films to be nominated for Best Picture, and reintroduced a modern generation to one of Hollywood’s greatest exports.
That film is none other than Mad Max: Fury Road.
Yet, despite its immense success — one that was welcomed with open arms by cinema goers worldwide — director George Miller began to rave about an alternative version of the movie, one that audiences are yet to see. The Black-and-Chrome edition of Mad Max: Fury Road, a black-and-white print that came about in post-production, is Miller’s preferred way of viewing the movie. Last year, he teased a tentative release in cinemas that never came to fruition, much to the dismay of the fans. Well, those same fans can now rejoice because after a year of teasing and uncertainty, the Black-and-Chrome edition of Mad Max: Fury Road has now snagged a home video release date.
News of the Black-and-Chrome edition surfaced on the internet last year, when George Miller spoke of his plans to release his preferred version of the film in theaters. This weekend, Amazon Germany listed a new box set titled Mad Max: The High Octane Collection on its site. The six-disc collection includes all four Mad Max movies, each with their own Making Of documentary, and includes the Black-and-Chrome edition of Mad Max: Fury Road as one of its many bonus features. Including a host of other extras, this box set seems like the perfect collection for any avid Mad Max fan.
The black-and-white version of Fury Road came about during post-production, quite by accident, when the sound and music crews were given a high-contrast workprint without any color. During an interview with Slash Film, Miller would explain why this particular print, with the music added to the soundtrack, struck him as “very, very powerful.”
“I used to live near a drive-in that was on top of a hill. Often going home I wouldn’t drive in, I’d park outside and watch the movies silent. And then I became obsessed with silent movies and realized that the basic syntax of film… Kevin Brownlow basically said that all film language is defined by the silent movies.”
As mentioned, the director hoped for a theatrical release of his preferred version, however, he opted out of this when he believed the studio wouldn’t be interested. After working with colorist Eric Whipp to create the over-saturated style of the stunning final product, a decision that made Fury Road stand out from any other apocalyptic movie, Miller teased the idea of a follow-up cinematic run for the Black-and-Chrome edition. Again, this never came about. He then asked Warner Bros. to include the version on the Blu-ray home video release. Although they didn’t acquiesce for the debut Blu-ray, stating that there wasn’t room on the disc, they revealed it would feature on a later release.
Now, the Black-and-Chrome edition is available — in Germany anyway. But can fans expect a release elsewhere? The answer is yes, as mentioned above by Warner Bros., but no details are currently available. Although Warner Bros. did confirm a future release, many might see this as the question being dodged. However, since that interview, some interesting details have surfaced.
According to The Wrap, Warner Bros. are working on a U.S. version as we speak. No release date or specifications are yet known, but if its anything like the heavyweight collection available in Germany, fans will be very content. It might be a way off, but it’ll be worth the wait — after all, Fury Road took thirty years to come about, what’s another few months to see the director’s preferred version of his creation?
Still unsure about seeing Mad Max: Fury Road minus its trademark color? You can feast your eyes by watching the trailer below. Enjoy!
Mad Max: The High Octane Collection will be available on Amazon Germany from September 29, 2016.
[Image and trailer via Warner Bros. Pictures]