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Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth instalment in the action movie Mad Max franchise. The film is directed by George Miller, and stars Tom Hardy in the pivotal role of Max Rockatansky, with Charlize Theron starring as Imperator Furiosa.

Director George Miller initially described the film: "Mad Max is caught up with a group of people fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by the Imperator Furiosa. This movie is an account of the road war which follows. It is based on the Word Burgers of the History Men and eyewitness accounts of those who survived." [1]

A direct prequel to the film, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, was released in Australia on May 23, 2024.


As the world fell

Original storyboard opening shot.

50 years after the apocalypse,[2] Australia is a desert wasteland and civilisation has collapsed. Max (Tom Hardy), a former MFP officer, is captured by the War Boys, the army of a tyrannical cult leader named Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) based at a now rare aquifer called The Citadel. Designated as a universal blood donor, Max is imprisoned and used as a living blood bag for a sickly War Boy called Nux (Nicholas Hoult). Meanwhile, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) drives her heavily-armoured War Rig to collect gasoline in nearby Gas Town. However, Furiosa begins driving off route, alerting Joe who realises that his Five Wives (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Zoë Kravitz, Abbey Lee Kershaw, and Courtney Eaton) — beautiful and healthy women specially selected for breeding — are gone. Joe leads his entire War Boy army in pursuit of Furiosa with his son Rictus Erectus, in addition to calling on the aid of his allies in Gas Town and the Bullet farm, led by The People Eater and The Bullet Farmer respectively. Nux also joins the army with his 'lancer' (wingman) Slit, as well as Max strapped to the hood of his car, to continue supplying blood.

Meanwhile, a battle ensues between the War Rig and wasteland rivals of The Citadel, called the Buzzards led by one of their own mini War Rigs, after Furiosa enters their territory. However, the Imperator and her still oblivious War Boy escort are able to successfully repel them. Furiosa then drives into an approaching sand storm to evade her pursuers, but as a result is discovered as a traitor by her subordinates and turn on her. Nux, driven by Joe's indoctrinated belief that dying in battle will take him to Valhalla, attempts to destroy the Rig by making his car explode upon impact on the massive truck. Max escapes and restrains Nux, but the car is destroyed by the Rig. Waking up after the storm, Max sees Furiosa nearby repairing her Rig, accompanied by the Wives who are cleaning themselves with water and removing fanged metal chastity belts from their bodies. Max engages in a fight with the women and steals the Rig, but its kill-switch disables the truck. Max reluctantly agrees to let Furiosa and the Wives accompany him. On their way to the canyon, the Rig suddenly has a problem which turns out to be the fuel pods hydraulic brake connector being disconnected by Nux which caused the trailers wheels to lock and get dragged by the Rig, They are suddenly surprise attacked by Nux who was easily outwitted and throw out of the Rig by Max. Nux returns to Joe with a dress fragment from one of the wives.

Furiosa drives through Rock Riders territory into a narrow canyon, having previously agreed to exchange gasoline for safe passage which the trailer is said to contain around 3000 gallons of fuel. However, Joe's forces are close behind, and Furiosa flees while the Bikers detonate the canyon walls to block Joe's path. Max and Furiosa fend off the pursuing Bikers, but Joe's vehicle evades the blockade and assaults the Rig. Nux boards the Rig while Joe attempts to shoot Furiosa. Angharad — Joe's heavily pregnant wife — shields Furiosa, but falls from the Rig and is run over by Joe's vehicle, the Gigahorse killing her and leaving the remaining Wives devastated by her death. Despite attempts to save Angharad's baby by Joe's chief doctor The Organic Mechanic, the child is already dead after being removed from his mothers womb.

Furiosa explains to Max that they are escaping to the "Green Place of Many Mothers", a location she remembers from her youth. Capable finds Nux, distraught that he contributed to the death of Joe's wife; touched by his remorse, she consoles him. At night, the heavy Rig gets caught in deep mud. Furiosa and Max slow Joe's forces with explosives, but Joe's ally, the Bullet Farmer, pursues the Rig. Nux helps free the Rig while Furiosa shoots and blinds the Bullet Farmer. He retaliates with machine gun fire and explosives. Max wanders into the dark to confront the Bullet Farmer, killing him and safely returning to the Rig with guns and ammunition.

As dawn breaks, the Rig travels through swampland and desert, and the group eventually encounters a naked woman. Max identifies it as a trap, but Furiosa leaves the Rig and states her former clan affiliation, revealing that she is of the Vuvalini. The woman, Valkyrie (Megan Gale), summons a group of desert bikers who realise that Furiosa is a member of their all-female clan; kidnapped with her mother by Immortan Joe when she was a child. Furiosa is distraught to learn that the swamp land they passed was in fact the Green Place, which is now uninhabitable. The group agree to ride their motorbikes across the immense salt flats in the hope of finding somewhere to live. Max chooses to stay behind, but after seeing visions of Glory the Child, he convinces them to return to the Citadel, which has ample water and greenery that Joe keeps for himself, and trap Joe and his army in the Biker Gang's canyon.

The group begins the journey back to the Citadel, eventually encountering Joe and his remaining forces. A battle is waged by the two sides, and Furiosa is gravely wounded in the process. Joe positions his car in front of the Rig in an attempt to slow it down, while Max fights Joe's eldest son, Rictus Erectus (Nathan Jones). Toast the Knowing is captured and put on Joe's car, but she is able to distract him, allowing Furiosa to hook Joe's mask to his car's rotating wheels, tearing his lower jaw off and instantly killing him. Nux sacrifices himself by destroying the Rig, blocking the canyon, killing Rictus, and allowing Max, Furiosa, and the Wives to escape in Joe's vehicle. Max donates his blood to Furiosa with the help of the Dag, to help her survive her fatal injuries.

At the Citadel, the citizens are overjoyed at the sight of Joe's mangled corpse, signifying the end of his despotic rule over the land. At the citizens' joyful urging, Furiosa and the Wives are raised up on a lift by the child War Boys, but Max stays behind. He and Furiosa share a glance of acknowledgment before Max disappears into the crowd.




Initially conceived shortly after Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road or Mad Max 4 failed to launch on multiple occasions.

The Initial Idea[]

The idea for the next instalment of Max's adventures came to Miller in 1987[3] when he was crossing the street:

"Could we make a film which is almost a continuous chase and how much can the audience apprehend from that story in terms of character, relationships, the world, the backstory and so on? And that the McGuffin, the thing that everyone's in conflict over should be human because to some extent or another we're all commodities in the world."

– George Miller on the very initial idea he had for Fury Road

Miller pushed that idea out of his mind for 9 years. In 1996 the same idea came to Miller on a long plane trip across the Pacific and that is when he dreamed the storyline while in a 'hypnagogic' state. He presented his idea to his colleges and it was decided that the next instalment of Mad Max was in order.

Mad Max TV Series[]

Shortly after the release of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, George Miller was contemplating creation of Mad Max TV series[4] The role of Max was to be reprised by an Australian actor Jon Blake. Unfortunately, Blake was involved in a car accident in 1986 that left him permanently disabled.[5] Plans for a Mad Max TV series fell through. On November 6th 1995, Daily Variety printed an article revealing a "Mad Max: The Road Warrior, a weekly television series based on the ``Mad Max movies is set to blast onto TV screens in the fall of 1996"[6]. No further details have been revealed other than the show would not include human violence but rather vehicular combat. The idea for a TV show was brewing in the minds of both Miller and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. It is unknown how far the negotiations had gone, but at the time that was the fate of the new Mad Max instalment.

Brendan McCarthy[]

In 1996, Miller started to assemble his team of screenwriters and design artists, among them: Brendan McCarthy, a big fan of the Mad Max franchise and a designer of a TV series called ReBoot. Brendan had sent George Miller a VHS of an episode of ReBoot entitled "Bad Bob" which was directly inspired by Mad Max, with a note saying, 'Whatever happened to Max?'. Two weeks later he received a phone call from George Miller's long time producer friend, Doug Mitchell, who was impressed by that episode and, being sold on the idea that computer graphics were the next best thing, decided to meet Brendan McCarthy in Los Angeles to discuss a possible Mad Max TV series. Mitchell's pitch was that the series was going to be a kind of Xena: Warrior Princess version of Mad Max which caught McCarthy off guard, and he proposed his own ideas, but for a Mad Max movie, which Mitchell found interesting and offered McCarthy a job on the movie instead. McCarthy also caught Miller's attention after sending him (along with many other letters about Mad Max) about three pages of drawings with designs and things that ultimately found its place in Fury Road.[7][8] Early on George Miller was working with a traditional writer (reportedly it was Eric Blakeney[9]) who was more senior and appeared to look only at the surface of the material whereas McCarthy dug deeper into the material. The writer was treating the character of Max superficially, turning him into a generic action hero with predictable lines. One day a version of the script was presented to Miller and it was really bad. Miller explained to the writer that this script is not up to par and said that McCarthy agrees with him to which the unnamed writer said "What would he know, he's just a f***ing cartoonist".[10] The writer was swiftly removed from the writing process and McCarthy moved to Sydney to storyboard the movie from 1997 to 1999 becoming a co-screen writer. As it turned out, McCarthy found that Miller had already had a basic outline for the movie, in a very crude form. That basic outline included many Wives, more than five and Max expressing love for Furiosa at the very end.[11] During the writing process, the most important idea was expressed through a quote "Engage to heal" meaning - it was supposed to be Max's journey of regaining humanity through helping others. The ending of the movie was completely different at first, with the escaping party going further into the Wasteland. Along with George Miller they approached the movie like animation starting off with a rough draft and storyboarded it. The first rough draft was entirely story-boarded and designed by McCarthy and it took form of a mixture of a script, manifesto and design journal.

Michael Biehn as Max, Mel Gibson's Involvement[]

After plans of a Mad Max TV show were abandoned in favour of a full feature movie, initial rumours about casting started to circulate. In 1997, Mel Gibson was offered 'obscene' amounts of money to play Max again, but his interest in reprising the role diminished after signing on to star in Lethal Weapon 4. Michael Biehn was rumoured to have been approached for the role as well.[12]

Tony Wright, Mark Sexton, Peter Pound and Nico Lathouris[]

Early in 1997, Peter Pound and Mark Sexton were hired on to do storyboards and concept art. The movie was story-boarded until the 2nd act when McCarthy had to leave to do another project, leaving the entire 3rd act in the hands of George Miller and Mark Sexton who became the movie's chief storyboard artist.[13] The "Mad Max Bible" early design/script/manifesto document created by Brendan McCarthy and George Miller was scanned and turned into a story reel and put into sequence with motion and duration of time with help of Sexton and Pound. Peter Pound contributed over 950 storyboards and was dubbed the movie's Principal Vehicle Designer.[14] Nico Lathouris was initially hired as a script and story analyst.[15] In 1999, Tony Wright was invited to Australia to start developing storyboards for the 4th part of Mad Max. Unfortunately due to personal issues he had to abandon the project.[16] Gradually the whole writing and design team had built the movie through still pictures with a little bit of panning, just like an animatic.

1st Announcement and Casting[]

In early 2001, George Miller reportedly pitched Mel Gibson on the idea of Fury Road. While Gibson was receptive to the idea, he cautioned Miller that development needed to proceed quickly, as Gibson felt that he would soon be out of the age bracket necessary to continue playing the role.[17] In November 2001, it was announced that the script had been finished and casting had begun. Rumours again pointed at Michael Beihn, Brendan Fern, Heath Ledger, and Mel Gibson as possible main actor candidates.[18] In early 2002, Nico Lathouris had received the full 3500 storyboard version of the movie along with a script. It took 10 months for Nico to deconstruct the story to understand it and start working on it with George Miller. He broke down the story into 22 sections. Lathouris connected the number 22 with the 22 Paths of The Tree Of Life from Kabbalah which also co-related with 22 cards of the Tarot.[19] He used that model to understand the journey of Max. In December 2002 it was confirmed by Miller that the script was almost finished and filming would start early in 2003. Mel Gibson was back to play the role despite his appearance being costly, but "Worth every cent". Gibson himself even suggested Robert Downey Jr. for the main role.[20] In January 2003 stunt crew auditions were underway. In February 2003 it was announced that the filming would begin on June 1st in Namibia and the film studio was scheduling the movie to be released on 24th of July 2004.[21] Australian actress Georgie Shew was in talks about her role in Mad Max: Fury Road as of May 2003.

1st Delay — The Iraq War[]

On February 27th 2003, Variety [22] reported on the postponing of Mad Max Fury Road due to the Iraq War just 11 weeks before filming.[23] Due to the US dollar collapse, the production lost 25% of its budget. The movie was officially stalled and entered hiatus.


From mid 2004 to October 24th 2009, Mad Max: Fury Road had been put on hold, Miller focusing on other movies, mainly Happy Feet and Happy Feet 2. The prospect of filming Fury Road in 2005 was still on the table with or without Mel Gibson on board.[24] In 2006, the idea of casting Mel Gibson was abandoned and searching for a new actor was underway. As a result, the movie was no longer a story about an old warrior,[25] instead George Miller was set on casting Heath Ledger for the role citing him as having the same kind of wild energy that Gibson had and later Tom Hardy would have.[26] George Miller confirmed continued interest from 2006 to 2008 with more details about the planned production surfacing. In December 2008 Miller's own Dr. D digital imagery studios were listing Mad Max: Fury Road as their upcoming project.


In March 2009, MTV reported a 3D Anime Mad Max movie was planned.[27] At the time it was revealed that the script was going to be partially based on Mad Max: Fury Road, but without Mel Gibson voicing Max and the anime itself was going to be geared more towards the Western sensibilities and audiences. Much later, in 2015 George Miller revealed that the anime was going to be about Furiosa's story and the decision to make that feature came from extensive backstories written for Fury Road by Miller and his co-writers: Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris during Fury Road's production hiatus. Two additional stories about Max were mentioned to have been written during that time. Furiosa's 3D anime was still considered until the 2nd delay due to heavy rains in Australia - the production crew immediately had to shift focus to film the movie and the concept of Mad Max anime was abandoned.[28] Concept drawings and artwork made by Mahiro Maeda for the anime resurfaced in a Japanese television program in June 2015.[29][30][31] Ultimately, the Furiosa project would be made as a film instead, but one element would remain: a teddy bear worn by the Dementus character.[32]

Video Game[]

In the very early stages of Fury Road's writing process, Mark Sexton created conceptual designs of the Mad Max computer game. That game was going to be developed by George Miller's own studio.[33] The plans for it were set aside until the movie re-emerged from its hiatus. In September 2008 - shortly before announcing plans for a Mad Max "3D anime" - George Miller partnered with "God Of War II" designer "Cory Barlog" to develop a Mad Max game tie-in for the upcoming animated feature.[34] In 2010, Barlog started working for Avalanche Studios and is rumoured to have brought in his Mad Max project. Due to the second delay and filming relocation, the original game project was put on hold and Barlog left Avalanche Studios in 2012. In 2013, development of the game resumed, but Barlog reported that the final product was not what he was working on with George Miller, as it was not a tie-in to the franchise, but it took on its own direction ever since.[35] A remnant of the original video game and movie tie-in was the lack of the rear spoiler on Max's Interceptor in Fury Road - the rear spoiler was supposed to be a bonus item found in the game.[36]

2nd Announcement and Filming Location[]

On October 24th 2009, Mad Max: Fury Road was officially announced at a press conference for the second time.[37][38][39][40] The pre-production commenced and the 30-week shoot was scheduled to begin in August 2010. The location of filming was now Broken Hill and Sydney. The production would be largely financed by the New South Wales government[41] who have provided the Redfem carriage works free of charge for the film's production along with other government financial incentives.[42] The budget of the film was outstanding due to a huge amount of stunts that haven't been done before.[43] At the time of the announcement no casting choices had been revealed, but Charlize Theron's and Tom Hardy's involvement was confirmed shortly after.[44] Mel Gibson's any involvement was denied by himself. Vehicles were being built and tested in Broken Hill shortly after.

2nd delay, Broken Hill Location Problems[]

In November 2011, the production in Australia was forced to stall the production once again due to heavy rains in Broken Hill which have turned the landscape from desert-like into a lush collection of wildflowers, obviously inappropriate for the "post-apocalyptic wasteland".[45] George Miller decided to wait a little for the green landscape to go back to normal, but seeing as that would not happen, the production crew started contemplating other locations such as China and Chile because they had the same coast as the west coast of Africa.[46]

Filming in Namibia[]

Ultimately the production was moved to Namibia in 2012 because the existing infrastructure in the coast area would make filming easier. It was announced that the film would begin shooting in 2012. The production encountered a few problems, namely from The Namibian Coast Conservation and Management group that accused the producers of damaging parts of the Namib Desert and endangering a number of plant and animal species. Another issue came up in the middle of shooting when Warner Brothers decided to remove The Citadel sequences and announced the release sometime in 2013. Those sequences were eventually put back in and after finishing filming in Namibia in on December 17th 2012, George Miller proceeded with filming The Citadel sequences in Sydney in November 2013 as planned. The shooting took 138 days. After finishing the shoot, post-production began and the final release date was announced: May 15, 2015 for the USA, & May, 14 for Australia.[47][48]

Comic Books[]

Miller had always envisioned the film to be one giant road war, a unique screen spectacle that had not been attempted before. That being said, he still constructed in-depth back stories for all the major characters. The backstories of Nux, Immortan Joe, Max Rockatansky and Imperator Furiosa became the focus of a comic book series collected into a trade paperback release in August 2015.[49]

Production Video[]

Awards & Nominations[]

88th Oscar Academy Awards[]

  • Best Costume Design (Jenny Beavan)
  • Best Make-Up and Hair (Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin)
  • Best Editing (Margaret Sixel)
  • Best Sound Mixing (Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo)
  • Best Sound Editing (Mark Mangini and David White)
  • Best Production Design (Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson)

88th Oscar Academy Awards (Nominations)[]

  • Best Picture[50]
  • Best Director (George Miller)
  • Best Production Design (Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson)
  • Best Costume Design (Jenny Beavan)
  • Best Make-Up and Hair (Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin)
  • Best Visual Effects (Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams)
  • Best Sound Editing (Mark Mangini and David White)
  • Best Sound Mixing (Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo)
  • Best Editing (Margaret Sixel)
  • Best Cinematography (John Seale)

Best Picture Wins (Awards Circles)[]

  • AACTA Awards[51]
  • Boston Online Film Critics[52]
  • Chicago Film Critics Association[53]
  • Florida Film Critics Circle[54]
  • International Federation of Film Critics[55]
  • Kansas City Film Critics Circle[56]
  • National Board of Review[57]
  • Online Film Critics Society[58]
  • San Diego Film Critics Society[59]
  • San Sebastian Int'l Film Festival[60]
  • Utah Film Critics Association[61]
  • Village Voice Critics[62]

Best Picture Wins (Publications)[]

Best Picture (Placed)[]

  • Black Film Critics Circle (Second Place)[71]
  • Dublin Film Critics Circle (Second Place)[72]
  • LA Film Critics Association (Second Place)[73]
  • Southeastern Film Critics (Second Place)[74]
  • African American Film Critics Association (Third Place)[75]
  • Sight and Sound (Third Place)[76]
  • Vancouver Film Critics Circle (Top Three)[77]
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics (Fifth Place)[78]
  • Cahiers du Cinema (Fifth Place)[79]
  • San Francisco Film Critics Circle (Top Five)[80]
  • Washington DC Area Film Critics Circle (Top Five)[81]
  • St. Louis Film Critics (Top Six)[82]
  • Detroit Film Critics Society (Top Seven)[83]
  • AFI (Top Ten)[84]
  • Indiana Film Journalists Association (Top Ten)[85]
  • Phoenix Film Critics Society (Top Ten)[86]
  • Wired (Top Ten)[87]

Best Picture (Nominated)[]

  • Austin Film Critics[88]
  • Broadcast Film Critics Association[89]
  • Golden Globes[90]
  • London Film Critics Circle[91]


  • In the middle of filming, Warner Brothers decided that The Citadel sequences were too expensive to shoot and decided to cut them out of the movie. Everyone involved in creating Fury Road was concerned except for the director who was convinced that the studio would put those sequences back in because without them the movie would not be complete. Eventually Warner Brothers decided to put the bookends back in and The Citadel sequences were shot in Sydney in 2013 as originally intended.[92]
  • In the original version of the script designed for Mel Gibson, Max was supposed to go up the elevator with Furiosa because she would become his love interest. In the final version of the movie it was decided otherwise because Max hasn't earned the right to go, and 3 days was not enough for him to become fully resolved. Another reason was that it would make Max still a passenger on Furiosa's journey and the ending would be outright 'cheesy' according to George Miller.[93]
  • Fury Road's main co-writer, Brendan McCarthy was involved in the writing process from 1997 to 1999 and left the project with the story having its original ending. McCarthy was purposefully not involved during the long production process until the movie was released to see it as a normal moviegoer. He was caught off guard when he saw his ending completely changed.[94]
  • Nico Lathouris, co-writer of Fury Road appeared in the original Mad Max as the "Grease Rat" mechanic: the mechanic that Max drops a car on to get information about the Toecutter gang.[95]
  • Although rumours originally stated that Mel Gibson was featuring in a cameo role, playing a character called "Drifter" it was denied by Miller, who claimed it "would have been nice", but was not true.[96] In fact this drifter character was meant to be a background character seen in the Barter town Settlement. Due to the fact that Barter Town is not featured in this movie, Mel Gibson's proposed "drifter character" could not be put into the movie. [citation needed]
  • Mad Max: Fury Road was originally the longest of the movies, at 120 minutes, with the shortest being the first Mad Max at 93 minutes. This would later be eclipsed by the prequel Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, at 148 minutes.
  • Some scenes in the trailers, tv spots and adverts are not in the film itself such as Furiosa rising her hand on the sand roof, The Dag using the war between her fingers, Furiosa saying "Let’s go" to the Wives while possibly in the The War Rig with Max, the motorcycle jumping above the War Rig, Immortan Joe slamming his hand down on the windshield, some lines are used such as "Everybody’s gone out of their mind
  • Max drives his interceptor in Fury Road for only 30 seconds.[97]
  • George Miller has spoken about the "best version" of Fury Road being in black and white. Arguing that too many post-apocalyptic films desaturate the colour, Miller felt his only option was to either boost the colours prominent in the shooting location: teal and orange, or devoid the film of any colour, in order to make it stand out. Originally, Miller wanted the DVD of Fury Road to contain both the theatrical cut and B&W cut, however, space on the disc didn't allow for two movies.[98] In the summer of 2016, Miller confirmed the creation of a B&W release, and carefully colour-calibrated the movie with colourist Eric Whipp. The B&W edition of Fury Road will be known as "Mad Max: Fury Road (Black and Chrome Edition)" and is slated for a December 6th release.[99]


Image Gallery[]


  1. Official Plot Blurb And Cast List For Mad Max: Fury Road - - 13 August 2012
  2. Empire Magazine Australasia, November 2015 issue, p.98,
  3. Australian Screen Classics, Adrian Martin p.7
  7. (14:24)
  20. FiRST Magazine (Singapore) December 2002 issue.
  32. Knight, Rosie (May 8, 2024). George Miller explains what his live-action Furiosa kept from the anime version. Polygon. Retrieved on May 8, 2024.
  36. Cameron Manewell, Fury Road mechanic, builder of Interceptor and Razor Cola
  45. It's Mad Max out of Africa - and Broken Hill isn't happy about it - The Daily Telegraph - 08 November 2011
  46. Mad Max Director George Miller: A 5SF & Friends Interview
  47. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Set For Summer 2015 - Deadline - 20 November 2013
  48. Mad Max: Fury Road @ Internet Movie Database
  97. Empire Magazine Australasia, November 2015 issue, p.98