Mad Max (franchise)
|Original work||Mad Max (1979)|
|Films and television|
|Video games||Mad Max (1990)
Mad Max (2015)
Mad Max is an Australian dystopian action multi-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: The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). Mel Gibson starred in the first three films and Tom Hardy took over the titular role 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 degenerates 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, in particular 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, 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 vengeance. 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: The Road Warrior (1981)
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 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 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 (also known as Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome or simply Mad Max 3) is a 1985 film, the third installment in the dystopian/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. 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 (also known as Mad Max 4: Fury Road or simply Mad Max 4), the fourth film of the franchise, 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 May 15, 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.
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.
Cast and crew
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 an aviator 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 2: The Road Warrior
|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)
|Cinematographer||David Eggby||Dean Semler||John Seale|
|Richard Francis-Bruce||Margaret Sixel|
|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: The Road Warrior||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|||
|Mad Max||90% (58 reviews)||67 (7 reviews)|
|Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior||98% (42 reviews)||76 (9 reviews)|
|Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome||81% (47 reviews)||80 (12 reviews)|
|Mad Max: Fury Road||97% (355 reviews)||90 (51 reviews)|
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 been published by QB Books. The first two novelizations were written by Terry Hayes, who ended up co-writing the script for the second film after getting along well with Miller. A novelization 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.
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 Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, with the titular character being voiced by Bren Foster.
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