We could potentially see Mad Max: Fury Road in black and white — just like director George Miller wanted. In a chronicle of the film's troubled history, Screen Daily writes that producer Doug Mitchell has confirmed that not only does an official black-and-white version of the film exist, it "could yet receive a theatrical release" in 2016.
Around the film's release, Miller talked about wanting a black-and-white Fury Road. A Slashfilm piece from May quotes him saying that there are "only two ways" to film a post-apocalyptic movie: make the colors incredibly vivid, which he chose for the released version, or totally remove them. "The best version of this movie is black-and-white, but people reserve that for art movies now," he said.
At that time, Miller said that he'd "demanded" a black-and-white cut for the film's Blu-ray release, along with an audio track that removed everything except the score. Unfortunately, this plan never came to fruition. Someone attempted to recreate his vision by uploading a totally desaturated Fury Road online, but it was unsurprisingly removed. (A similar take on the trailer is still online.)
We don't know what's changed in the past several months, but it can't hurt that Fury Road was just nominated for Best Picture and Best Director on the Golden Globes slate. It's also heavily favored in the upcoming Critics' Choice Awards, where it has 13 nominations. It's still not precisely considered an art film, but it's much closer than most big-budget action movies get, justifying a black-and-white release that also cements its status as a serious project.
This still sounds incredibly tentative, and any theatrical release would probably be limited. But at least Fury Road's creators have kept some hope alive that the black-and-white cut won't be totally lost.
Update December 14th, 11:40AM ET: Added detail on awards nominations.
Breaking down the chaos of a Mad Max car chase