Furiosa and Max drive in Mad Max: Fury Road.

Gearing Up for ‘Furiosa’? Here’s Your ‘Mad Max’ Watch Order

Furiosa is finally on the horizon, with a May 24, 2024 release date. Maybe you’re planning on going full throttle into the Mad Max series for the first time when the movie comes out, and Anya Taylor-Joy steps into the role of Furiosa. Or maybe you’ve decided you’re going to bone up on Mad Max before you head into the theaters in May! Either way, here’s your guide to watching all the Mad Max movies in order.

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Mad Max, which formerly starred Mel Gibson as the titular Max before the role went to Tom Hardy, is director George Miller’s epic action series set in a post-apocalyptic Australia. Roaming a wasteland plagued by drought, climate change, and barbarous warlords, Max tries to escape his grief over his murdered wife and child by helping the various survivors and refugees he encounters.

Mad Max (1979)

Max stands in front of a yellow car on a deserted highway.
(Warner Bros.)

If you’re a completist, then start with the original Mad Max. (Just try to watch it in a way that doesn’t give Mel Gibson any residuals, because that guy sucks.) In the first installment of the saga, Max is an officer with the Main Force Patrol, chasing biker gangs on lawless highways. Critics were divided when the film first came out, but this is the film to watch if you want to see where it all started.

Mad Max 2 (1981)

A shirtless man in a hockey masks speaks on a hillside, with warriors behind him.
(Warner Bros.)

Mad Max 2, originally known as The Road Warrior in the U.S., is where the series starts to look like the Mad Max we all know and love today. The apocalypse has happened, civilization has collapsed, and Max is tasked with defending a small settlement of survivors against marauders in a desolate landscape.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Tina Turner poses as Aunty Entity, wearing a mesh dress with puffed sleeves.
(Warner Bros.)

Thunderdome! Tina Turner! When most people think of Mad Max, they think of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, and with good reason. During his wanders, Max happens upon an isolated settlement where he’s forced to partake in a gladiatorial battle to the death. It’s arguably the most iconic movie in the franchise, even counting Fury Road.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

charlize theron as Furiosa, looking at someone from the driver's seat.
(Warner Bros.)

The original trilogy is classic, but Mad Max: Fury Road is where the series entered radical new creative territory. Max encounters an enclave run by the ruthless warlord Immortan Joe. When Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) sets out to smuggle Joe’s wives to safety, Max helps them escape Joe’s War Boys and get revenge for the abuse they’ve suffered.

Furiosa (2024)

anya taylor joy in the witch, staring at something with her hair loose around her shoulders.

The upcoming Mad Max movie, due out next spring, is a prequel to Fury Road. That means we’ll see how Furiosa came to be the formidable badass we met in 2015. In Fury Road, Furiosa is trying to make her way home to the Green Place of Many Mothers, and Furiosa will tell the story of how she was kidnapped in the first place. The movie is a spinoff, so it will focus on Furiosa instead of Max. There are no production photos, trailers, or marketing materials out yet (hence the gorgeous photo above of Taylor-Joy in The Witch.)

After the movie comes out, you’ll have the choice of whether to watch the prequel first, or start with Fury Road. If you’re itching to get started now, though, watch Fury Road posthaste.

Are there any more Mad Max movies coming up?

In 2015, Miller announced that the fifth film in the franchise would be titled Mad Max: The Wasteland. However, there hasn’t been any recent news on the film’s development.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>