Mad Max (franchise)

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Mad Max
Creator George Miller
Original work Mad Max (1979)
Films and television
Video games Full list.

The Mad Max franchise consists of a series of futuristic post-apocalyptic action films, taking place in the "Mad Max Universe". The first Mad Max was an Australian action film directed by George Miller and written by Miller and Byron Kennedy, released in 1979. It was followed by two sequels, Mad Max 2, also known as The Road Warrior, in 1981, and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, in 1985. The series has had a lasting influence on apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction ever since.[citation needed]

In May 2009, location scouting was reported to be underway for Mad Max 4: Fury Road.[1] The production was, however, delayed until June 2012 with a release date of 15 May 2015. It was also revealed that the film is to be immediately followed by a fifth entry, Mad Max 5: Furiosa.[2]


Mad Max[edit]

Main article: Mad Max

Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller and written by Miller and Byron Kennedy. It tells a story of breakdown of society, murder, and vengeance. The film, starring the then-little-known Mel Gibson, was released internationally in 1980. It became a top-grossing Australian film and has been credited for further opening the global market to Australian New Wave films.[citation needed]

Mad Max 2[edit]

Main article: Mad Max 2

Mad Max 2 (also known as The Road Warrior in the U.S., and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior) 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 launched the career of Mel Gibson. The film's tale of a community of settlers 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.[citation needed]

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome[edit]

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (also known as Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome or simply Mad Max 3) is a 1985 film, the third installment in the action movie Mad Max 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. George Miller, director of the first two Mad Max movies, lost interest in the project after his friend and producer Byron Kennedy was killed in a helicopter crash while location scouting. Miller later agreed to direct the action sequences.[citation needed]

Mad Max: Fury Road[edit]

Main article: Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road (also known as Mad Max 4: Fury Road or simply Mad Max 4), the fourth film of the franchise, is an upcoming Australian post-apocalyptic action film co-written and directed by George Miller. Originally planned for a 2014 release with shooting to begin in 2011, rare high levels of rain in the Australian desert detracted from the post-apocalyptic feeling that Miller wanted. Instead, shooting was delayed until July 2012, taking place in Namibia, Africa, and the film's release was postponed until 2015. It is to feature British actor Tom Hardy as Mad Max, and co-star Charlize Theron.[citation needed]


Planned films[edit]

Miller and McCarthy found during the writing process for Fury Road that they had enough story material for two additional scripts. One of these, entitled Mad Max: Furiosa, has already been completed, and Miller hopes to film it after the release of Fury Road.[3]


At one point, Miller was looking into developing an anime version of Mad Max,[4] but no news has emerged since then.[citation needed]

Cast and crew[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Mel Gibson starred as Max Rockatansky in the first three films.

Bruce Spence appeared in the latter two films (as the "Gyro Captain" in Mad Max 2 and as "Jedediah the Pilot" in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome). There is some debate as to whether these are the same characters or not, since they are both pilots and, in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Max recognizes the character.[citation needed]

Hugh Keays-Byrne appeared as Toecutter in Mad Max and will be returning as Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road.[citation needed]

Max Fairchild appeared as Benno in the first film and a broken victim in the second.[citation needed]


Film Year Director Writer(s) Producer(s) Music Cinematography Editing
Mad Max 1979 George Miller George Miller
Byron Kennedy
James McCausland
Byron Kennedy
Bill Miller
Brian May David Eggby Cliff Hayes
Tony Paterson
Mad Max 2 1981 George Miller Terry Hayes
George Miller
Brian Hannant
Byron Kennedy Brian May Dean Semler David Stiven
Michael Balson
Tim Wellburn
Mad Max
Beyond Thunderdome
1985 George Miller
George Ogilvie
Terry Hayes
George Miller
Terry Hayes
George Miller
Doug Mitchell
Maurice Jarre (score)
Lyle/Britten/Knight (songs)
Dean Semler Richard Francis-Bruce
Mad Max: Fury Road 2015 George Miller Nick Lathouris
Brendan McCarthy
George Miller
George Miller
Doug Mitchell
P.J. Voeten
Junkie XL John Seale Margaret Sixel


A wide range of Mad Max items have been produced over the years, including videos, books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, board and video games, action figures, car models, and also souvenir magazines, t-shirts, and stickers.[5] Although MGM owns the original film, all other elements including rights to the remaining existing films, characters, merchandising licensing and trademarks are the property of Warner Bros.

Video games[edit]

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. The game is similar to Outlander which was released in 1992 for Sega Genesis and SNES.

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 will be released in 2015 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.[6]


External links[edit]