Mad Max (franchise)

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Mad Max
Mad Max (logo).png
Creator
Original work Mad Max (1979)
Print publications
Comics Fury Road
Films and television
Films
Games
Video games Mad Max (1990)
Mad Max (2015)

Mad Max is an Australian post-apocalyptic 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 (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 of the Main Force Patrol in a future Australia whose civilization is rapidly collapsing 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. As Australia degenerates 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 idealistic ones.

The series has been well received by critics, with each film marked "Certified Fresh" on the movie review aggregate site, Rotten Tomatoes. Furthemore, the series has also had a lasting influence on apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction.

Films[edit]

Mad Max (1979)[edit]

Main article: Mad Max

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,[1] and has been credited for further opening the global market to Australian New Wave films.[2][3]

Mad Max 2 (1981)[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.[4]

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)[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. 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)[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 a 2015 post-apocalyptic action film co-written and directed by George Miller. While location scouting was reported to be underway in May 2009,[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

Future[edit]

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, has already been completed, and Miller hopes to film it after the release of Fury Road.[9] 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.[10] After the release of Fury Road, Miller announced that he would like to make a follow-up titled Mad Max: The Wasteland.[11]

Cast and crew[edit]

Cast[edit]

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 air pilot in two of the films, first as Gyro Captain in Mad Max 2 and then as Jedediah the Pilot in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.[12] Hugh Keays-Byrne has taken antagonist roles twice: he played Toecutter in Mad Max and Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road.[13] Max Fairchild appeared as Benno Swaisey in Mad Max and as "Broken Victim" of the Humungus's gang in Mad Max 2.[14]

Crew[edit]

Crew/Detail Film
Mad Max
(1979)
Mad Max 2
(1981)
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
(1985)
Mad Max: Fury Road
(2015)
Director George Miller George Miller
George Ogilvie
George Miller
Writer(s) George Miller
Byron Kennedy
James McCausland
Terry Hayes
George Miller
Brian Hannant
Terry Hayes
George Miller
George Miller
Brendan McCarthy
Nico Lathouris
Producer(s) Byron Kennedy
Bill Miller
Byron Kennedy Terry Hayes
George Miller
Doug Mitchell
George Miller
Doug Mitchell
P. J. Voeten
Composer Brian May Maurice Jarre (score)
Lyle/Britten/Knight (songs)
Junkie XL
Cinematographer David Eggby Dean Semler John Seale
Editor Cliff Hayes
Tony Paterson
David Stiven
Michael Balson
Tim Wellburn
Richard Francis-Bruce Margaret Sixel
Running time 93 minutes 96 minutes 107 minutes 120 minutes

Reception[edit]

For more details on the reception of each film, see the "Reception" section on each film's article.

Box office performance[edit]

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$380,000 [15][16][17]
Mad Max 2 24 December 1981 A$10,847,491 $23,667,907 N/A N/A A$4.5 million [15][18]
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome 10 July 1985 A$4,272,802 $36,230,219 N/A N/A A$12 million [15][19][20]
Mad Max: Fury Road 15 May 2015 A$16,071,753 $152,912,788 $221,100,000 $374,012,788 US$150 million [21]
Total A$36,547,536 $221,560,914 N/A N/A US$150 million
+A$17 million
List indicator(s)
  • A dark grey cell indicates the information is not available for the film.

Critical response[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Mad Max 89% (55 reviews)[22] 67 (7 reviews)[23]
Mad Max 2 98% (42 reviews)[24] 76 (9 reviews)[25]
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome 81% (47 reviews)[26] 80 (12 reviews)[27]
Mad Max: Fury Road 97% (291 reviews)[28] 89 (47 reviews)[29]
Average 92% 78

Merchandising[edit]

Many licensed products are based on the Mad Max franchise. Products include novels, comic books, video games, and other materials.[30]][citation needed]

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.[31] A novelization for the third film was written by Joan D. Vinge.[32]

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 was released in September 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.[33]

Legacy[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lyttelton, Oliver. "5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Mad Max'". The Playlist. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Formica, Serena (1 April 2012). Peter Weir: A Creative Journey from Australia to Hollywood. Bristol: Intellect Ltd. p. 79. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Conterio, Martyn (7 May 2015). "Mad Max: from the Ozploitation wilderness to the mainstream". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 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. Evolve Media. p. 4. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "All revved up for Max's return". Herald Sun. The Herald and Weekly Times. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  7. ^ Steadman, Ian (March 5, 2013). "Fragile Namibian deserts 'damaged' by Mad Max film crew". Wired UK. Retrieved May 12, 2015. 
  8. ^ Vaughan, Owen (13 June 2012). "Charlize Theron shaves it all off for Mad Max 4". News.com.au. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Turner, Brook (25 November 2011). "George Miller's new script". The Australian Financial Review. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Miranda Collinge (30 March 2015). "Tom Hardy Is Esquire's May Cover Star". Esquire. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (18 May 2015). "George Miller Promises 'More Max,' Starting With 'Mad Max: The Wasteland'". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Returning to the road with Mad Max's original adventures". GamesRadar. Future plc. 12 May 2015. Archived from the original on 14 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior Trivia". Fast-Rewind.com. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Mad Max (1980)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  17. ^ Haenni, Sabine; Barrow, Sarah; White, John, eds. (2014). "Mad Max (1979)". The Routledge Encyclopedia of Films. Routledge. pp. 323–326. ISBN 9781317682615. 
  18. ^ "The Road Warrior". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  19. ^ "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  20. ^ "Crack In The Net - Facts". Mad Maxed. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)". Box Office Mojo. IMDB. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Mad Max". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  23. ^ "Mad Max". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  24. ^ "Mad Max 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "The Road Warrior". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  27. ^ "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
  28. ^ "Mad Max: Fury Road". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  29. ^ "Mad Max: Fury Road". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 May 2015. 
  30. ^ "Mad Max Memorabilia". Retrieved 8 April 2015. 
  31. ^ Stratton, David (1990). The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry. Macmillan Publishers. p. 82. ISBN 0-73-2902509. 
  32. ^ Vieth, Errol; Moran, Albert (25 October 2005). Historical Dictionary of Australian and New Zealand Cinema. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 400. 
  33. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (10 June 2013). "E3 2013: Mad Max Announced for PlayStation 4". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 8 April 2015.