Vernon Wells, who starred in iconic ’80s movies Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, Weird Science, and Commando, likely can’t appear in future Mad Max films.
Iconic ’80s movie villain Vernon Wells, who starred in both Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Commando, would love to appear in future Mad Max films, but likely won’t be able to. Wells played Wez, the punk with the iconic red mohawk, in 1981’s Mad Max 2, which was his first film role after some previous television work in his native Australia. After that film became an international sensation, Wells gained the attention of Hollywood producers who cast him in two 1985 classics that are celebrating their 35th anniversary this year: Commando and Weird Science.
In Commando, Wells played the villainous mercenary Bennett, who was dispatched by Arnold Schwarzenegger’s titular character with one of the most legendary ’80s action movie quips: “Let out some steam, Bennett.” Wells played Lord General in Weird Science, acting alongside future stars like Robert Downey Jr., Bill Paxton, and Anthony Michael Hall. Since then, Wells has been steadily working ever since, with over 150 acting credits on his IMDb resume. However, Wells is still probably most remembered for his work in the Mad Max franchise, which is why it’s a shame fans shouldn’t expect to see him in any future installments.
Speaking to Forbes, Wells said that he’s approached Mad Max director George Miller about his interest in returning to the franchise that launched his career, but Miller wasn’t receptive to the idea because Wells’ first role in the series was simply too iconic, and Miller thought audiences would never accept seeing him as a different character. However, Wells is able to look on the bright side of it all, saying, “I guess that means I did a good job, though, right?” Wells went on to say he “would love to do even just a little part in it,” explaining, “I adore George because he took a punt on somebody who was a nobody when he could have had anybody on this planet in that film. He plucked me from obscurity and gave me my career.”
Of course, there’s also always a chance Miller could change his mind. The director is currently in development on two different Mad Max films, one of which is expected to be a prequel to 2015’s beloved Mad Max: Fury Road. Meanwhile, the other is apparently set more than four decades after the third film in the franchise, 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
Miller’s comments to Wells are interesting, considering his planned future for the Mad Max franchise. As Wells noted, there is plenty of opportunity for him to appear again. Additionally, most of the Mad Max films have had dozens and dozens of ornately costumed background characters whose faces are barely visible. It seems like it wouldn’t be that hard for Miller to find a way to accommodate Wells’s wish without winking at audiences too overtly. However, fans will have to wait for the next Mad Max installment to find out.