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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mad Max
Mad Max (logo).png
Official franchise logo since 2015
Created by
Original workMad Max (1979)
OwnerRoadshow Entertainment
Warner Bros. Pictures
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Years1979–present

Mad Max is an Australian post-apocalyptic action film series and media franchise created by George Miller and Byron Kennedy. It began in 1979 with Mad Max, and was followed by three sequels: Mad Max 2 (1981, released in the United States as The Road Warrior), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015); Miller directed or co-directed all four films. Mel Gibson starred in the first three films and Tom Hardy took over as Max in the fourth film.

The series follows the adventures of Max Rockatansky, a police officer in a future Australia which is experiencing societal collapse due to war and critical resource shortages. When his wife and child are murdered by a vicious biker gang, Max kills them in revenge and becomes a drifting loner in the Wasteland. As Australia devolves further into barbarity, this skilled warrior of the road finds himself helping pockets of civilization, initially for his own self-interest, but his motives always drift into more altruistic ones.

The series has been well-received by critics, with each film marked "Certified Fresh" on the film review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes; Mad Max 2 and Fury Road in particular have been ranked among the best action films ever made. The series has also had a significant influence on popular culture, most notably apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and encompasses works in additional media, including video games and comic books. In 2016, Fury Road became the first film of the Mad Max franchise to receive Academy Award recognition, winning six of its ten nominations.

Films

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s) Status
Original series
Mad Max 12 April 1979 George Miller George Miller & James McCausland George Miller & Byron Kennedy Byron Kennedy Released
Mad Max 2 24 December 1981 George Miller, Terry Hayes & Brian Hannant
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome 10 July 1985 George Miller & George Ogilvie George Miller & Terry Hayes George Miller
Reboot series
Mad Max: Fury Road 15 May 2015 George Miller George Miller, Brendan McCarthy & Nico Lathouris George Miller, Doug Mitchell and PJ Voeten Released
Mad Max: The Wasteland TBA George Miller and Nico Lathouris George Miller and Doug Mitchell In development
Spin-off
Furiosa 24 May 2024 George Miller George Miller and Nico Lathouris Doug Mitchell Pre-production

Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max is a 1979 Australian action film directed by George Miller. Written by Miller and James McCausland from a story by Miller and producer Byron Kennedy, set between 1983 and 1985, a few years after the 1973 oil crisis. It tells a story of societal breakdown, murder, and revenge. The film, starring the then little-known Mel Gibson, was released internationally in 1980. It became a top-grossing Australian film, while holding the record in the Guinness Book of Records for decades as the most profitable film ever created,[1] and has been credited for further opening the global market to Australian New Wave films.[2][3]

Mad Max 2 (1981)

Mad Max 2 (released as The Road Warrior in the United States) is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. This sequel to Miller's Mad Max was a worldwide box office success that further boosted the career of Mel Gibson. The film's tale of a community of settlers that moved to defend themselves against a roving band of marauders follows an archetypal "Western" frontier movie motif, as does Max's role as a hardened man who rediscovers his humanity. It also opens with a previously unexplained backstory on the tragic events that led to those in the original film.[4]

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is a 1985 film, the third instalment in the franchise. The film was directed by George Miller and George Ogilvie, and starred Mel Gibson and Tina Turner. The original music score was composed by Maurice Jarre. While Miller initially lost interest in the project after his friend and producer Byron Kennedy was killed in a helicopter crash, he later agreed to move forward with the assistance of Ogilvie.[5]

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth film and a “revisit” to the franchise (as described by Miller),[6] is a 2015 post-apocalyptic action film co-written and directed by George Miller. While location scouting was reported to be underway in May 2009,[7] production was delayed until June 2012 due to unusually high levels of rain in the Australian desert which detracted from the post-apocalyptic feeling that Miller wanted. Shooting ultimately took place in Namibia the following year.[8] The film was released on 15 May 2015. It features British actor Tom Hardy as Mad Max and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa. Gibson was originally attached to star in Fury Road during its failed 2003 production attempt.[9]

Mad Max: The Wasteland (TBA)

In March 2015, Hardy revealed that he was attached to star in three more Mad Max films, following Fury Road.[10] After the release of Fury Road, Miller announced that a sequel is in development, with the working title of Mad Max: The Wasteland.[11][12] By January 2016, and after misleading reports which stated that the franchise was over, Miller reaffirmed that he is working on follow up movies.[13] In July 2019, a question regarding unpaid earnings had to be resolved before moving forward with production which were resolved.[14]

Furiosa (2024)

Miller and McCarthy found during the writing process for Mad Max: Fury Road that they had enough story material for two additional scripts.[15] In March 2020, it was announced that a spin-off film centered around Furiosa was in development with auditions via Skype, including Anya Taylor-Joy.[16] By May of the same year, the untitled prequel centered around Furiosa, was confirmed to be in active development. Miller explained that extensive backstories were created for the characters in Fury Road, and that with Furiosa an entire script was written. The filmmaker announced that the primary character will be recast. Though he had originally wanted to digitally de-age Theron to reprise the role, he decided against this after seeing The Irishman and deciding that technology has not yet overcome the uncanny valley. Colin Gibson and John Seale will return as production designer and cinematographer, respectively.[17] Filming is expected to begin in 2021[16] for a release date of May 24, 2024.[18]

Cast and crew

Cast

List indicator(s)

This section shows characters who will appear or have appeared in the franchise.

  • An empty, dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the film, or that the character's official presence has not yet been confirmed.
  •  A indicates an appearance through archival footage.
  •  O indicates an older version of the character.
  •  Y indicates a younger version of the character.
Characters Original series Reboot Spin-off Video game
Mad Max Mad Max 2 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Mad Max:
Fury Road
Furiosa Mad Max
1979 1981 1985 2015 2024 2015
Max Rockatansky Mel Gibson Tom Hardy TBA Bren Foster
Benno Swaisey
Broken Victim
Max Fairchild
Jessie Rockatansky Joanne Samuel Joanne SamuelA
Sprog Rockatansky Brendan Heath Brendan HeathA
Gyro Captain Bruce Spence
Jedediah the Pilot
Toecutter Hugh Keays-Byrne
Jim "Goose" Rains Steve Bisley
Bubba Zanetti Geoff Parry
Johnny the Boy Tim Burns
May Swaisey Sheila Florence
Nightrider Vincent Gil
The Humungus Kjell Nilsson
Wez Vernon Wells
The Feral Kid Emil MintyY Harold BaigentO
Warrior Woman Virginia Hey
Pappagallo Michael Preston
Aunty Entity Tina Turner
Savannah Nix Helen Buday
Jedediah Jr. Adam Cockburn
Pig Killer Robert Grubb
Ironbar Bassey Angry Anderson
Immortan Joe Hugh Keays-Byrne Fred Tatasciore
Imperator Furiosa Charlize Theron Anya Taylor-Joy
Glory the Child Coco Jack Gillies Madison Carlon
Nux Nicholas Hoult
Splendid Angharad Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Capable Riley Keough
The Dag Abbey Lee
Toast the Knowing Zoë Kravitz
Cheedo the Fragile Courtney Eaton
Rictus Erectus Nathan Jones
Slit Josh Helman
The People Eater John Howard
The Bullet Farmer Richard Carter
The Doof Warrior iOTA
The Valkyrie Megan Gale
Keeper of the Seeds Melissa Jaffer
The Organic Mechanic Angus Sampson Fred Tatasciore
Chumbucket Jason Spisak
Scabrous Scrotus Travis Willingham

The series' protagonist, Max Rockatansky, was portrayed through the first three films by Mel Gibson. Tom Hardy took over the role for 2015's Fury Road. The series features a few recurring cast members in different roles. Bruce Spence played different aviators in two of the films, first the Gyro Captain in Mad Max 2 and then Jedediah the Pilot in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.[19] Hugh Keays-Byrne has taken antagonist roles twice: he played Toecutter in Mad Max and Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road.[20] Max Fairchild appeared as Benno Swaisey in Mad Max and as "Broken Victim" of the Humungus's gang in Mad Max 2.[21]

Crew

Film Crew/Detail
Music Composer Cinematographer Editor(s) Production
companies
Distributing
companies
Running time
Mad Max Brian May David Eggby Tony Paterson & Cliff Hayes Kennedy Miller Productions,
Crossroads
Roadshow Films,
Warner Bros. Pictures
1hr 33mins
Mad Max 2 Dean Semler David Stiven, Tim Wellburn & Michael Balson Kennedy Miller Productions 1hr 36mins
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Maurice Jarre Richard Francis-Bruce 1hr 47mins
Mad Max:
Fury Road
Junkie XL John Seale Margaret Sixel Warner Bros. Pictures,
Village Roadshow Pictures,
Kennedy Miller Mitchell,
RatPac-Dune Entertainment
2hrs
Mad Max:
The Wasteland
Cody "Camie" Taylor, Olivia Rodrigo and Hans Zimmer TBA David Stiven, Cody "Camie" Taylor Warner Bros. Pictures,
Village Roadshow Pictures,
Kennedy Miller Mitchell
2hrs
Furiosa Junkie XL[22] TBA TBA Village Roadshow Pictures,
Kennedy Miller Mitchell
TBD

Reception

Box office performance

Film Release date Box office gross Budget Ref(s)
Australia North America Other
territories
Worldwide
Mad Max 12 April 1979 A$5,355,490 $8,750,000 ~$91,250,000 ~$100,000,000 A$200,000 [23][24][25]
Mad Max 2 24 December 1981 A$10,847,491 $23,667,907 $21,000,000R $36,000,000R A$4.5 million [23][26][27][28]
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome 10 July 1985 A$4,272,802 $36,230,219 $16,000,000R $52,000,000R A$12 million [23][29][30][27][28]
Mad Max: Fury Road 15 May 2015 A$21,606,347 $153,121,629 $205,000,000 $374,736,354 US$150 million [31]
Total A$36,547,536 $221,769,755 $37 millionR
+$296 million
$72 millionR
+$475 million
A$17 million
+US$150 million
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.

RDistributor rental

Critical and public response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Mad Max 90% (62 reviews)[32] 73 (14 reviews)[33]
Mad Max 2 94% (47 reviews)[34] 77 (15 reviews)[35]
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome 80% (51 reviews)[36] 71 (18 reviews)[37]
Mad Max: Fury Road 97% (433 reviews)[38] 90 (51 reviews)[39]

Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave Mad Max: Fury Road a grade "B+" on scale of A to F.[40]

Music

Soundtracks

Title U.S. release date Length Composer(s) Label
Mad Max: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 30 April 1980 31:25 Brian May
Mad Max 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 11 January 1982 35:08 Brian May
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack August 1985 44:27 Maurice Jarre (score), Terry Britten/Graham Lyle/Holly Knight (songs)
Mad Max: Fury Road (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 12 May 2015 71:01 Tom Holkenborg a.k.a. Junkie XL WaterTower Music
Mad Max: Fury Road (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 71:01 Cody "Camie" Taylor and Hans Zimmer

Singles

Other media

Merchandising

Many licensed products are based on the Mad Max franchise. Products include novels, comic books, video games, and other materials.[41]

Novels

Novelizations of the first three films have also been published by QB Books. The first two novelisations were written by Terry Hayes, who ended up co-writing the script for the second film after getting along well with Miller.[42] A novelisation for the third film was written by Joan D. Vinge.[43]

Video games

Mad Max is a 1990 NES game developed and published by Mindscape Inc. based on the film Mad Max 2. The object of the game is to survive life in the post-apocalyptic world by battling survivalists and collecting resources. Mindscape did develop another Mad Max game originally titled The Road Warrior for SNES and Sega Genesis, but due to Mindscape losing the license before completion they changed the title to Outlander to avoid legal issues. Outlander was released in 1992 for Sega Genesis and SNES. Later, in June 2013, it was revealed at E3 that developer Avalanche Studios would be developing a video game based on the setting of Mad Max. The game was released in September 2015 for Linux, OS X, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows and Xbox One, with the titular character being voiced by Bren Foster.[44]

Comic books

Mad Max: Fury Road is a limited comic book series created by George Miller, Nico Lathouris, and Mark Sexton. Serving as a prequel to the 2015 film of the same name, the series focuses on several of the film's characters. It consists of four issues. Beginning in May 2015, Vertigo published one issue per month, ending in August. A single-volume collection of all of the issues was published on 26 August. Reception of the series has been mixed; some consider it unnecessary and poorly executed, and many harshly criticised the issue centred on Imperator Furiosa. However, the issue focused on Nux and Immortan Joe and the two issues focused on Max Rockatansky were received more positively.

Other appearances

See also

References

  1. ^ Lyttelton, Oliver. "5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Mad Max'". The Playlist. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  2. ^ Formica, Serena (1 April 2012). Peter Weir: A Creative Journey from Australia to Hollywood. Bristol: Intellect Ltd. p. 79. ISBN 9781841504773. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  3. ^ Conterio, Martyn (7 May 2015). "Mad Max: from the Ozploitation wilderness to the mainstream". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  4. ^ Leonard Maltin. Introduction by Leonard Maltin (Videotape). Warner Home Video. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  5. ^ Bibbiani, William (23 March 2015). "SXSW 2015 Interview: George Miller on Mad Max, 'Fury Road' and the Apocalypse". CraveOnline. p. 4. Archived from the original on 21 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  6. ^ Davis, Erik (14 May 2015). "Interview: Director George Miller Answers All Your Big 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Questions". Fandango. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  7. ^ "All revved up for Max's return". Herald Sun. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  8. ^ Steadman, Ian (5 March 2013). "Fragile Namibian deserts 'damaged' by Mad Max film crew". Wired UK. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  9. ^ Vaughan, Owen (13 June 2012). "Charlize Theron shaves it all off for Mad Max 4". News.com.au. Archived from the original on 15 August 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  10. ^ Miranda Collinge (30 March 2015). "Tom Hardy Is Esquire's May Cover Star". Esquire. Archived from the original on 31 March 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (18 May 2015). "George Miller Promises 'More Max,' Starting With 'Mad Max: The Wasteland'". Variety. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  12. ^ "No Furiosa in Mad Max Fury Road sequel". 12 October 2015. Archived from the original on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Crisis Averted: George Miller Will Return for More 'Mad Max'". Collider. 14 January 2016. Archived from the original on 17 January 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  14. ^ "There are two new 'Mad Max' movies in the works according to director George Miller". NME. 26 July 2019. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  15. ^ Turner, Brook (25 November 2011). "George Miller's new script". The Australian Financial Review. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  16. ^ a b Lang, Justin Kroll,Brent; Kroll, Justin; Lang, Brent (26 March 2020). "Hollywood's Biggest Movies Are Stuck in Limbo as Start Dates Remain Uncertain". Variety. Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  17. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (14 May 2020). "Furiosa's Back: George Miller Discusses the Next 'Mad Max' Movie". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 15 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  18. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (23 December 2020). "Warner Bros. to Release 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Prequel and 'The Color Purple' Musical in Theaters in 2023". Variety. Archived from the original on 24 December 2020. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  19. ^ "Returning to the road with Mad Max's original adventures". GamesRadar. 12 May 2015. Archived from the original on 14 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  20. ^ Guerrasio, Jason (12 May 2015). "How this actor ended up playing 2 different villains in the 'Mad Max' franchise 36 years apart". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 14 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior Trivia". Fast-Rewind.com. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Junkie XL Announces Return for Furiosa, Plus Justice League". March 2021.
  23. ^ a b c "Film Victoria – Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  24. ^ "Mad Max (1980)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 29 October 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  25. ^ Haenni, Sabine; Barrow, Sarah; White, John, eds. (2014). "Mad Max (1979)". The Routledge Encyclopedia of Films. Routledge. pp. 323–326. ISBN 9781317682615.
  26. ^ "The Road Warrior". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on 8 September 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  27. ^ a b "Foreign Vs. Domestic Rentals". Variety. 11 January 1989. p. 24.
  28. ^ a b "Australian Top Rentals". Variety. 2 May 1990. p. 234.
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  30. ^ "Crack in the Net – Facts". Mad Maxed. Archived from the original on 24 August 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  31. ^ "Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on 7 June 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
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  33. ^ "Mad Max". Metacritic. CBS. Archived from the original on 8 March 2021. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  34. ^ "Mad Max 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  35. ^ "The Road Warrior". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 8 March 2021. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
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  40. ^ "CinemaScore". Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  41. ^ "Mad Max Memorabilia". Archived from the original on 17 January 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  42. ^ Stratton, David (1990). The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry. Macmillan Publishers. p. 82. ISBN 0-73-2902509.
  43. ^ Vieth, Errol; Moran, Albert (25 October 2005). Historical Dictionary of Australian and New Zealand Cinema. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 400.
  44. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (10 June 2013). "E3 2013: Mad Max Announced for PlayStation 4". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  45. ^ "'Space Jam' Sequel Trailer 'Clockwork' Droogs Cameo ... Pepe Remains Sidelined". TMZ. 3 April 2021. Archived from the original on 4 April 2021. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
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