Mel Gibson in Mad Max: The Road Warrior
(Kennedy Miller Entertainment)

Max’s Best Friend: The True Story Behind ‘The Road Warrior’s Most Loyal Companion

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is regarded as one of the better films in the Mad Max film series, with Fury Road and now Furiosa being the only rivals.

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Mad Max 2 takes over from the first part in the saga, in which Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) loses his family after getting involved in a back-and-forth with a gang hell bent on taking revenge for the death of one of their members. After eliminating them and exacting his own revenge, Max comes to the rescue of a band of peaceful settlers who are being pestered for oil by a group of bandits in the sequel.

Max’s only companion in the initial part of the movie is his faithful Blue Heeler, who doesn’t have a name in the film and is credited as “dog.” Max runs into the Australian Cattle Dog after the events of the film, and he takes him into his care. Unfortunately, the canine passes away in the latter half of the movie when a crossbow hit from one of Lord Humungus’ marauders proves to be fatal.

George Miller, the director of the film, originally wanted the “dog” to be a three-legged Blue Heeler named “Trike.” However, since Blue Heelers are farm dogs known for their work on ranches, it was difficult to find a disabled dog for the movie. Another concern was that people could have maimed their dogs just to sell them to the production team, which made Miller change his mind to accommodate a four-legged pooch.

The dog was chosen for the role after an audition involving more than 100 dogs from a dog shelter based in Sydney, Australia. The mutt had to undergo a vasectomy before being cleared for the role as per government rules and was ready for shooting after a three-month training. Initially extremely scared of moving cars and the noises they made, the dog had to be distracted by a display of food off-screen to help complete scenes that involved him.

After filming, there was a massive debate over who got to keep the dog, and it ended up being stunt couple Max and Dale Aspin who adopted the Blue Heeler. During production, the dog got extremely attached to Bruce Spence (who played Gyro Captain in the film), and it got really difficult to film scenes involving the duo because of the nature of their relationship.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.


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