George Miller Presents His “Anti-Mad Max” in Three Thousand Years of Longing Trailer

George Miller’s next film after 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road is here, and it’s based on the 1994 short story by A.S. Byatt called “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.” It’s got Idris Elba as a wish-granting Djinn who becomes entangled with Tilda Swinton’s PhD-wielding Dr. Alithea Binnie.

The Three Thousand Years of Longing trailer reveals a very different film than Max Max: Fury Road. Indeed, Miller, who co-wrote the script with his daughter Augusta Gore, has called the film in an interview with Deadline an anti-Mad Max movie for very specific reasons.

“When I say it’s the anti-Mad Max, I mean it only in the sense that it’s got way more dialogue than the very laconic Fury Road,” Miller told Deadline. “Most of that was shot on location in the deserts of Southern Africa. This one was shot basically indoors, with only a couple of outdoor scenes. Its scale is smaller, at least in terms of its physical scale, even though, yes, it is set over 3,000 years. But also, Fury Road was a story that essentially happened over three days and two nights, and this happened over 3,000 years, so that’s what I meant by the anti-Mad Max.”

As the trailer reveals, Swinton’s Dr. Binnie releases Elba’s Djinn from a vessel he was trapped in for 3,000 years. The Djinn wants Dr. Binnie to make three wishes, but Dr. Binnie knows that wish-granting is notorious for not working out the way the wisher intended. The Djinn apparently regales her with tales from his past, which we see in vivid flashbacks, but Dr. Binnie appears to be undeterred, at least at the beginning.

Here’s the official synopsis for the film:

Dr Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) is an academic – content with life and a creature of reason. While in Istanbul attending a conference, she happens to encounter a Djinn (Idris Elba) who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. This presents two problems. First, she doubts that he is real and second, because she is a scholar of story and mythology, she knows all the cautionary tales of wishes gone wrong. The Djinn pleads his case by telling her fantastical stories of his past. Eventually she is beguiled and makes a wish that surprises them both.

We can see how both the Djinn and Dr. Binnie fare when Three Thousand Years of Longing premieres in theaters on August 31, 2022.

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