Mad Max (franchise)
Official franchise logo
|Original work||Mad Max (1979)|
|Comics||Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)|
|Films and television|
|Video game(s)||Mad Max (1990)|
Mad Max (2015)
Mad Max is an Australian dystopian action media franchise created by George Miller and Byron Kennedy. It began in 1979 with Mad Max, and was followed by three films: Mad Max 2 (1981, released in the United States as The Road Warrior), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). 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 civilisation, initially for his own self-interest, but his motives always drift into more idealistic ones.
The series has been well-received by critics, with each film marked "Certified Fresh" on the film review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes; Mad Max 2 and Fury Road in particular have been ranked among the best action films ever made. Furthermore, 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, including being nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for Miller, and winning six of its ten nominations.
Mad Max (1979)
Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller. Written by Miller and James McCausland from a story by Miller and producer Byron Kennedy, 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, and has been credited for further opening the global market to Australian New Wave films.
Mad Max 2 (1981)
Mad Max 2 (released as The Road Warrior in the United States) is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic dystopian 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 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.
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.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road the fourth film and a “revisit” to the franchise (as described by Miller), is a 2015 post-apocalyptic dystopian/action film co-written and directed by George Miller. While location scouting was reported to be underway in May 2009, 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. 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.
Mad Max: Furiosa (2022)
Miller and McCarthy found during the writing process for Mad Max: Fury Road that they had enough story material for two additional scripts. One of these, entitled Mad Max: Furiosa, had already been completed, and Miller hoped to film it after the release of Fury Road. In March 2015, during an interview with Esquire magazine, Hardy revealed that he was attached to star in three more Mad Max films following Fury Road. After the release of Fury Road, Miller announced that he would like to make a follow-up titled Mad Max: The Wasteland, which he later clarified was "just a working title". Miller reaffirmed his intent to continue the franchise after reports to the contrary surfaced following an interview in January 2016. In March 2020, Mad Max: Furiosa was confirmed to be in active development, with Anya Taylor-Joy approached for a role and an intent to shoot in 2021 for a 2022 release date.
Cast and crew
- A dark grey cell indicates that the character was not in the film or that the character's presence in the film has yet to be announced.
- An O indicates a role as an older version of the character.
- An A indicates a role represented with archival footage or stills.
|Mad Max||Mad Max 2||Mad Max
|"Mad" Max Rockatansky
The Road Warrior
|Mel Gibson||Tom Hardy||TBA||Bren Foster|
|Toecutter||Immortan Joe||Hugh Keays-Byrne||Hugh Keays-Byrne||Fred Tatasciore|
|Jim "Goose" Rains
|Steve Bisley||Kjell Nilsson|
|Jessie Rockatansky||Joanne Samuel||Joanne SamuelA|
|Sprog Rockatansky||Brendan Heath||Brendan HeathA|
|Gyro Captain||Bruce Spence|
|Jedediah the Pilot|
|Imperator Furiosa||Charlize Theron|
|Glory the Child||Coco Jack Gillies||Madison Carlon|
|Bubba Zanetti||Geoff Parry|
|Johnny the Boy||Tim Burns|
|May Swaisey||Sheila Florence|
|The Feral Kid||Emil Minty||Harold BaigentO|
|Warrior Woman||Virginia Hey|
|Aunty Entity||Tina Turner|
|Savannah Nix||Helen Buday|
|Jedediah Jr.||Adam Cockburn|
|Pig Killer||Michael Grubb|
|Ironbar Bassey||Angry Anderson|
|Splendid Angharad||Rosie Huntington-Whiteley|
|The Dag||Abbey Lee|
|Toast the Knowing||Zoë Kravitz|
|Cheedo the Fragile||Courtney Eaton|
|Rictus Erectus||Nathan Jones|
|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|
|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. Hugh Keays-Byrne has taken antagonist roles twice: he played Toecutter in Mad Max and Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road. Max Fairchild appeared as Benno Swaisey in Mad Max and as "Broken Victim" of the Humungus's gang in Mad Max 2.
|Mad Max||Mad Max 2||Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome||Mad Max: Fury Road|
|Director||George Miller||George Miller
|Byron Kennedy||Terry Hayes
P. J. Voeten
|Composer||Brian May||Maurice Jarre (score)
|Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL)|
|Cinematographer||David Eggby||Dean Semler||John Seale|
|Richard Francis-Bruce||Margaret Sixel|
|Production Company||Kennedy Miller Productions
Mad Max Films
|Kennedy Miller Productions||Village Roadshow Pictures|
Kennedy Miller Mitchell
|Distributor||Roadshow Distributors (Australia)
American International Pictures (US)
Warner Bros. Pictures (International)
|Warner Bros. Pictures||Roadshow Films (Australia)|
Warner Bros. Pictures (International)
|Release date||12 April 1979||24 December 1981||10 July 1985||15 May 2015|
|Running time||93 minutes||96 minutes||107 minutes||120 minutes|
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Budget||Ref(s)|
|Mad Max||12 April 1979||A$5,355,490||$8,750,000||~$91,250,000||~$100,000,000||A$380,000|||
|Mad Max 2||24 December 1981||A$10,847,491||$23,667,907||N/A||N/A||A$4.5 million|||
|Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome||10 July 1985||A$4,272,802||$36,230,219||N/A||N/A||A$12 million|||
|Mad Max: Fury Road||15 May 2015||A$21,606,347||$153,121,629||$221,100,000||$374,221,629||US$150 million|||
Critical and public response
|Mad Max||90% (61 reviews)||73 (14 reviews)|
|Mad Max 2||95% (43 reviews)||77 (15 reviews)|
|Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome||80% (49 reviews)||71 (18 reviews)|
|Mad Max: Fury Road||97% (399 reviews)||90 (51 reviews)|
- Mad Max (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1980)
- Mad Max 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1982)
- Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1985) – Featuring songs performed by Tina Turner including "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" and "One of the Living".
- Mad Max: Fury Road: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2015)
Many licensed products are based on the Mad Max franchise. Products include novels, comic books, video games, and other materials. 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. A novelisation for the third film was written by Joan D. Vinge.
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. 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.
Comic book series
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.
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