Cannes Day 2: ‘Furiosa’ Turns the Croisette Into the Wasteland

Only two days into the festival and Cannes is very much in full swing, with a starry Hollywood premiere, a screening of footage from an upcoming genre film and some technology talk courtesy of IMAX.

Cannes Meets Furiosa

Day 2 saw a very big premiere in the form of George Miller’s highly anticipated prequel “Furiosa.” Almost exactly nine years ago, Miller premiered “Mad Max: Fury Road” out of competition, which was the opening salvo of the film becoming a box office juggernaut and critical darling, winding up with 10 Oscar nominations and six wins. And clearly hopes were pinned on the follow-up, which follows the title character (now mostly played by Anya Taylor-Joy) as she faces off against the villainous warlord Dementus (an unrecognizable Chris Hemsworth) in the years before “Fury Road.” Judging by the response out of Cannes, that very well could be the case.

The film received a 7-minute standing ovation at the festival, which Taylor-Joy responded to with tears in her eyes. The critical response was similarly effusive, with NME’s Lou Thomas calling it “brilliant and unmissable,” New York Magazine’s Bilge Ebiri reporting that the new movie is “somber, steady, and supremely twisted.” There are, of course, comparisons being made to “Mad Max: Fury Road,” with The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis stating “Scene for scene, ‘Furiosa’ is very much a complement to “Fury Road,” yet the new movie never fully pops the way the earlier one does.”

TheWrap’s Steve Pond was also more muted, again comparing it to the earlier “Mad Max” saga: “’Fury Road’ was an imaginative, virtuoso action joint that fired on all cylinders from start to finish; ‘Furiosa’ backs up, fills in the blanks and does a solid job of giving its title character a history that answers questions that its predecessor left in the dust.”

And in a rare pan, Josh Rothkopf of the LA Times, slammed the movie, saying it “forgets what makes the ‘Mad Max’ movies great.” Well then!

You can make up your own mind about the ups and downs of “Furiosa” when it charges into theaters everywhere on May 24. See it on the biggest, loudest screen possible. And for the full Cannes experience, try to wear a tuxedo or evening gown. The kid tearing tickets will be dazzled.

Everything’s Coming Up Imax

Imax took to Cannes to detail its upcoming 2025 slate, including an announcement that Joseph Kosinski’s upcoming Formula 1 movie (starring Brad Pitt) would be locking down Imax screens next summer, even though the Apple original doesn’t have a theatrical distribution partner yet. (The director told us as much back in 2022.)

Also of note: that Imax was committing to a global release of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis,” with Imax CEO Richard Gelfond saying, “One of the things that we pride ourselves on is being filmmaker-friendly. So we’ve committed to Francis to do a global IMAX release.” Again: particulars of that release are still being hammered out, as it still doesn’t have domestic distribution, but has partnered with several distributors globally.

They also took the opportunity to unveil a new camera system, which should be in production by the end of the year, that is designed to encourage more filmmakers to use the format (and thus have those filmmakers’ movies be exhibited in Imax).

It is reported that these “modernized models will boast higher image quality than ever before, along with a 30% reduction in noise and other new features and functionality that will translate to crisp footage on the big screen.” Imax consulted with filmmakers like Jordan Peele and Christopher Nolan, who had already utilized the Imax technology, in an effort to build these new models, which they will be testing out this summer. If you see Peele running around the parking lot of your local Ralph’s with a next-gen Imax camera, you know what he’s up to.

Among the other Imax titles slated for 2025 are Ryan Coogler’s untitled Michael B. Jordan movie, David Robert Mitchell’s “Flowervale Street,” the eighth “Mission: Impossible” film (duh), the live-action “How to Train Your Dragon,” Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Bride!” and Disney’s “TRON: Ares.” Plus superhero movies like “Captain America: Brave New World,” James Gunn’s “Superman: Legacy,” “The Fantastic Four” and “Blade.” 2025 is going to be big for Imax.

“Silent Hill” Returns

Christoph Gans, the French filmmaker behind cult classics “Brotherhood of the Wolf” and “Crying Freeman,” is returning to the world of “Silent Hill,” which he first adapted in 2006. Gans previewed “Return to Silent Hill,” which he directed and co-wrote with Sandra Vo-Anh and William Josef Schneider, at Cannes for buyers. The film, based on Konami’s video game “Silent Hill 2,” sees the return of fabled villain Pyramid Head.

The movie stars Jeremy Irvine as a man named James who is in shambles after his relationship (with Hannah Emily Robinson’s Mary) comes to an end. The official synopsis reveals that “a mysterious letter from her calls him back to Silent Hill, he finds a once-recognizable town transformed by an unknown evil. While James desperately searches for Mary, he encounters terrifying creatures and begins to unravel the mystery of what happened to the town. But as he descends deeper into the darkness the secrets he uncovers lead to a horrifying truth, and James finds himself struggling to hold on long enough to save his one true love.”

The Veterans are handling international sales for the film, with CAA Media Financing representing domestic rights. A rough version of the film was screened. The film was produced by Victor Hadida for Davis Films, Molly Hassell for Hassell Free Productions and David Wulf.

Ready to pick up the controller again for this horror survival movie? Or are you just excited for another Gans movie, his first since 2014’s “Beauty and the Beast?”

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