A new Change.org petition has been created to protest the use of an American lead actor in the upcoming sci-fi video game Mad Max, based on the classic Aussie film.
(Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)
When you think "Aussie sci fi", the first film that comes to mind is the 1979 dystopian action film Mad Max, starring Mel Gibson in his breakout role. Now, a video game is on the way — but has outraged fans by casting an American voice actor in the leading role.
The upcoming third-person open-world game by Avalanche Studios, due out sometime next year, was shown off at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), where Ausgamers was told that the developer wanted "someone generic" to play Max.
In fact, Avalanche's founder Christofer Sundberg told IGN, "We treated this as a completely new property, and that was really the only way for us to take on a licensed game. It's the first licensed game we've ever taken on. And we wanted to treat it like an original IP. The setting — where it is in the world — has really nothing to do with the Mad Max video game. It's really a game to do with the relationships between different people in this world."
For Aussie film, sci-fi and Mad Max fans, this is a kick in the guts. Ausgamers thought so, too; editor Stephen Farrelly has started a petition on Change.org to keep Mad Max Australian. "Everything else about the game is true to the origins of the Mad Max films — except for Max's awful American accent," Farrelly said. "All the Australians at E3 were appalled. We hope that Avalanche Studios will listen to what Mad Max fans have to say, and will cast an Australian in the role for the game's release next year."
Other petitioners are equally outraged, with Daniel Chalmers from Melbourne proclaiming, "Carn mate, you just gotta get a true-blue Aussie bloke to do the yapping in this game. Hearing some yank gas bagging in a Mad Max game is just piss weak. Hoo roo!"
Paul Chestnut from New York said, "Setting is hugely important in any storytelling medium. The Australian outback is as much a part of Mad Max as the cars are. Please keep this iconic Australian IP in Australia."
Shem Herman from Poland added, "Mad Max was once re-dubbed for the American audiences and it was a huge mistake, everyone hates that version till this day. Do not make the same mistake with this game. Max is Australian, the movie takes place in Australia, keep it that way."
We're not entirely sure what Avalanche thought would happen; the developer stands to lose a lot of disappointed Aussie gamers — and global gamers, judging by the range of the petitioners.
Head over to Change.org to sign it for yourself.