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George Miller had to grind the pedal to get “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” finished in time for its global release next week.

Appearing at press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, auteur Miller discussed the tight deadline sitting beside his cast including Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Burke.

“We only finished the film two-and-a-half weeks ago,” Miller told global reporters.” It hits theaters in May 22. Taylor-Joy gushed about the incredible team of artisans — a team of 1,300 people — many of whom have worked on four other “Mad Max” films with Miller.

“People came out of retirement to work with George,” Taylor-Joy said. Her director piped in, saying, “I came out of retirement to work on this film.”

Australian pride was a major theme of the conference, as Miller fully embraced Australian accents on the production (one reporter noted that the original “Mad Max,” which bombed in the U.S., had to be dubbed with American accents to suit the marketplace). Miller said his inspiration for the entire film series came from an analog childhood in Queensland.

“There was no television. There was no internet. There was just school, comic books and the Saturday matinee. The movie theater in town was like a secular Cathedral. We’d go there and we’d see a cartoon, newsreels, a serial and two features. The rest of the time we were lucky enough to play,” Miller said. “We played actively, making things based on what we saw in the movies. Picking up garbage can lids to look like knights.”

“Furiosa” premiered last night to a fiery six-minute standing ovation as Taylor-Joy blew kisses to the crowd and Hemsworth fought back tears. The post-apocalyptic action film is the fifth installment in Miller’s long-running “Mad Max” franchise, which first debuted in 1979.

“Furiosa” stars Taylor-Joy as a younger version of the title character played by Charlize Theron in 2015’s “Fury Road,” which was hailed as one of the best action films of all time. Early in the film, a young Furiosa is kidnapped and imprisoned by a group of bandits known led by Warlord Dementus (Hemsworth).

In a Variety cover story on Taylor-Joy and “Furiosa,” Miller said he considered de-aging Theron so she could reprise the role of Furiosa, but “it would have been difficult” to pull it off. He also addressed the infamous feud between Theron and co-star Tom Hardy on set, saying that “the well-documented problems between Tom and Charlize, that kind of made things more complicated.” However, on the “Furiosa” set, Miller said there “none of that, so all of our energy could be spent on the work.”

Reviews for “Furiosa” have been somewhat mixed, with Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman writing that “despite some awesome action moments (and two mega villains), the feeling is one of inflated franchise overkill.”



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