dir.: george miller action / adventure / sci-fi 2015
tom hardy as max rockatansky charlize theron as imperator furiosa nicholas hoult as nux hugh keays-byrne as immortan joe
+80% of the effects seen, are real practical effects, stunts, make-up & sets. cgi was used sparingly mainly to enhance the namibian landscape, remove stunt rigging & for charlize theron’s left hand which in the film is a prosthetic arm.
max’s back tattoo reads: day 12045, ht 10 hands, 180 lbs, no name, no lumps, no bumps, full life clear, two good eyes, no busted limbs, plies ok, genitals intact, multiple scars, heals fast, o-plus, high-octane, universal donor, lone road warrior rundown on the powder lakes v8, no guzzoline, no supplies, isolate psychotic, keep muzzled…
the flame-shooting guitarist in the movie is australian artist/musician sean hape, aka iota. in an interview with vice (2013), he says the guitar weighed 132 pounds (~60 kgs), & shot real gas powered flames which he controlled using the whammy bar.
charlize theron shaved her head for the role of furiosa and had to wear a wig for her role in a million ways to die in the west (2014).
2nd mad max featuring hugh keays-byrne. he played the villain toecutter in mad max (1979).
george miller has wrote a background story for the doof warrior (crazy guitar guy in the red onesie). there is also a comic book miniseries showing how immortan joe came to power being published by dc.
references to other mad max films: the opening shot resembles the beginning of mad max 2 (1981) & the music box one of the wives carries is a nod to the music box max gives the feral kid in the same movie. he has a metallic harness on his leg due to have been shot in the kneecap in mad max (1979) (he wears the harness on road warrior).
1st ‘mad max’ movie since mad max beyond thunderdome (1985), a gap of 30 years.
soundtrack album (standard & deluxe edition) by tom holkenborg aka junkie xl. limited vinyl edition will be released at the end of july 2015.
when max is tied to the front of one immortan joe’s vehicles, there is a skull with a pilot’s skull cap & goggles on a spike above him. this is a reference to the gyro captain, who appeared in mad max 2 (1981) and mad max beyond thunderdome (1985).
george miller told cinematographer john seale to keep the main actor centered in the screen so that the viewer’s eye did not have to search the screen due to the film’s fast editing style. according to seale, miller said “keep the crosshairs on her nose!” seale, used to composing an anamorphic shot took a while to get used to this technique. he was not used to actors being cut off in the edges of the frame.
there has been a fan theory that mad max in this movie is actually the feral kid from mad max 2: the road warrior. mad max doesn’t speak a lot on this film & he grunts a lot like the feral kid. also, he has a music box in the film which max gives him in the 2nd film.
during one of max’s flashbacks, there is a quick shot of toecutter’s eyes - from mad max (1979) - as they pop during toecutter’s death in the original film.
keeping in line with the previous incarnations, max barely speaks in this film as well.
after max searches furiosa’s cab for weapons & leaves with all her guns, furiosa reveals a hidden knife sheathed in her gear shift. in mad max: beyond thunderdome, max is disarmed before entering bartertown, but hides a knife sheathed in a flyswatter.
when max asks nux if he’s a blackfinger & if he can fix engine number one while they’re on the rig is a reference to the character blackfinger from mad max: beyond thunderdome who is the mechanic in bartertown.
max’s sawed-off shotgun misfires twice as it did in mad max 2 (1981).
in creating the look of the film, george miller laid down 2 stipulations for the production to follow. 1st the cinematography would be as colorful as possible in order to differentiate the film from other post apocalyptic movies which typically have bleak desaturated colors. 2nd the art direction would be as beautiful as possible, as miller reasoned that people living in the post apocalypse would try to find whatever scraps of beauty they could in their meager environment.
on april 3, 2015, tom hardy announced he would sign on for 3 more mad max films.
according to george miller the film’s storyboard was made even before the screenplay. the reason behind that was because miller envisioned the film as a continuous chase, with little dialogue & focusing on the visuals. the storyboard was made with the collaboration of 5 artists and had about 3,500 panels.
in a cannes press conference for the movie, tom hardy apologized to george miller for the reportedly complicated relationship between the star & the director during filming. he stated: “there was no way, i mean, i have to apologize to you because i got frustrated. there was no way george could have explained what he could see in the sand when we were out there. because of the due diligence that was required to make everything safe & so simple, what i saw was a relentless barrage of complexities, simplified for this fairly linear story. i knew he was brilliant, but i didn’t know how brilliant until i saw it. so, my first reaction was 'oh my god, i owe george an apology for being so myopic.’”
originally intended to star mel gibson in the title role back in 2003 but because george miller ran into problems with shooting locations, & gibson’s interest in the passion of the christ (2004), it never happened.
the movie was almost filmed in 2003 on location in namibia but the project was put on hold due to security concerns related to trying to film in namibia, because the united states & many other countries had tightened travel & shipping restrictions. with the start of the iraq war the film was abandoned until 2009.
mel gibson was at the cannes premiere and apparently approved the movie. according to director george miller: “mel was at the premiere of the movie and i sat next to him. we hadn’t seen each other in a long time. mel is someone who, in a sense, cannot lie. & he started chuckling during the movie and i thought, there’s that chuckle i remember! mel kept chuckling & he started digging me in the ribs… . he gave me great perspective because he is a great actor, but in the end he is a really great director.”
it was originally rumored that mel gibson would have a cameo role as a drifter.
writer & feminist eve ensler (the vagina monologues) was consulted to enhance the portrayal of female characters.
during the project’s hiatus between 2003 & 2009, george miller considered making the film as a 3d animated feature.
john seale came out of retirement to head the film’s cinematography.
the budget for this film is estimated to be between us$100 million & $150 million, while the converted budget for the original mad max (1979) is placed at around $316,620. that means that without inflation, the budget between the 2 films increased by well over 300 times. (with inflation, the difference is 100 - 150x.)
the film used 3 identical war rigs, the large main truck in the film. they were based on a czechoslovakian all wheel drive military vehicle.
the war rig & immortan joe’s vehicles are left-hand drive, possibly a first in all the mad max movies. australian vehicles - like the rigs in mad max 2 (1981) & mad max beyond thunderdome (1985), as well as the famous v8 interceptor - are all right-hand drive.
this is director george miller’s first r-rated movie since the witches of eastwick (1987).
tom hardy had been considered for the role of john connor in another reboot set in an post-apocalyptic future - terminator genisys (2015). james cameron, the director & creator of the “terminator” franchise had cited mad max 2 (1981) as one of his influences behind the terminator (1984).
the film editor, margaret sixel, is director george miller’s wife. when she asked her husband why he thought she should do it as she had never edited an action film before, miller replied, “because if a guy did it, it would look like every other action movie.”
despite max being an australian character, there has yet to be an australian actor to play him. (mel gibson was born in the usa) although, gibson was raised in australia.
the music cue “claw trucks” composed by tom holkenborg for the film’s score, is a revamp of his earlier composition “dauntless attack” written for the film divergent.
this film is considered an ozploitation movie, an australian genre and/or australian exploitation movie.
runtime: 2 hours. longest film in the mad max series.
the follow-up of this movie is called mad max: the wasteland, the wasteland is the fictional world that max lives in.
the only film in the mad max series where the last road battle does not end in a head-on collision between two vehicles & a main antagonist is killed in the process.
in the last scene of the movie, furiosa’s eye is shut as a result of injury, the same as max’s is at the end of road warrior.
at least four members of the cast have been involved in comic book films. tom hardy starred as bane in the dark knight rises (2012), nicholas hoult starred as hank/beast in x-men: first class (2011), zoë kravitz who starred as angel in x-men: first class (2011), & josh helman who starred as william stryker in x-men: days of future past (2014). hoult also starred in x-men: days of future past (2014) & will star in the upcoming x-men: apocalypse (2016).
after the war rig leaves the platform & the platform begins to rise, a lone woman can be seen standing in the center. in the assembly cut, “the wretched” were shown begging for a place in immortan joe’s coterie. this woman (played by debra ades) was brought aboard to be used as a milker or breeder.
1st 'mad max’ movie not to star mel gibson as max.
as in the previous movies in this series, many characters’ names are never said in full or at all onscreen & are only provided in the credits.
the character toast is named after crew member shyam yadav, who is known for serving free french toast (& hugs) to thousands of people all over the world.
the blood transfusion tubing inside the chain between max & nux can clearly be seen dangling outside of the chain in one shot during/after max’s scuffle with furiosa. it is then back inside the chain in the next shot as the chain is being broken with bolt cutters.
max’s 1973 ford falcon xb gt interceptor seen in the first two films makes an appearance in this movie as well. it’s appearance looks identical to its battered state seen in mad max 2 (1981). the interceptor is quickly wrecked in the film’s opening sequence, rebuilt, & ultimately wrecked again. it is unlikely the car will appear again in any sequels due to it’s catastrophic demise.
as a reference to road warrior, nux crashes the war rig in the same way the tanker crashes at the end of road warrior.
in the film the war boys tattoo the back of max’s back which contain various words including “the road warrior” which is a reference to the 2nd mad max film: mad max road warrior.