Furiosa and Max drive in Mad Max: Fury Road.

With ‘Furiosa,’ George Miller Is Adding to ‘Mad Max’ Folklore

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is barreling into theaters this week, and the new prequel has fans and newcomers alike revisiting a Mad Max classic: Fury Road. It also has people wondering how exactly all the Mad Max films connect to each other.

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When Mad Max: Fury Road came out in 2015, it elevated the entire franchise, earning six academy awards for its audacious vision of a post-apocalyptic future. Fury Road also signaled a major evolution from the very first Mad Max film, which is a low-budget film about Max Rockatansky’s (Mel Gibson) battle against a biker gang. Max’s story continues in The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

Although Fury Road continues (or reinvents?) Max’s story (with Max now played by Tom Hardy), it mainly focuses on Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a high-ranking driver working for the warlord Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Max teams up with Furiosa as she betrays Immortan Joe and tries to smuggle his wives to her homeland, the Green Place of Many Mothers.

So how does Fury Road fit into the Mad Max saga, exactly—especially when Max himself is played by a different actor? Is it a sequel? A reboot?

In 2015, director George Miller shared his thoughts on the matter. “I like to call it a revisit,” he told Fandango. “If you put a gun to my head, I’d say [Fury Road takes place] after Thunderdome, but it’s very loose. I can’t even work out the chronology of the first, second and third, let alone the fourth thirty years later.”

Miller shared a similar sentiment with Den of Geek, explaining that the Mad Max films are “not really connected in any very strict way. They’re another episode in a saga of a character who is pretty archetypal: the wanderer in the wasteland, basically searching for meaning. This is someone we see in the classic westerns, in samurai stories. You can’t really put a chronology together.”

When Den of Geek asked Miller if he sees the films as “fragments of a bigger folklore,” Miller responded with, “Precisely.”

So when you head into the theater for Furiosa, don’t worry too hard about the strict chronology of the Mad Max films. Mad Max, it seems, is the stuff of legends.


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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>