According to director George Miller, the film's storyboard was made even before the screenplay. The reason behind this was because Miller envisioned the film as a continuous chase, with little dialogue and more focus on the visuals. The storyboard was made with the collaboration of five artists and had about 3,500 panels.
Over eighty percent of the effects seen in the film are practical effects, including stunts, make-up, and sets. CGI was used sparingly, mainly to enhance the Namibian landscape, remove stunt rigging, and for Imperator Furiosa's (Charlize Theron) left arm, which is a prosthetic limb.
Margaret Sixel (Editor) is director George Miller's wife. When she asked why he thought she should take on this project, 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." Sixel's work paid off; she received an Academy Award for Best Editing.
Regarding the look of the film, director George Miller laid down two stipulations for the production to follow. Firstly, the cinematography would be as colorful as possible in order to differentiate the film from other post-apocalyptic movies, which typically have bleak de-saturated colors. During pre-production the initial concept was for a black and white film. However, producers strongly advised against this as they believed it would deter audiences. Secondly, 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.
When 78-year-old Melissa Jaffer was asked why she took a part in the film, she said, "When this role came along, I thought well, I won't get another chance like this before I die, and that's why I took it. It was absolutely wonderful."
In a Cannes press conference for the movie, Tom Hardy apologized to George Miller for the reportedly complicated relationship between the star and 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 and 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'." Charlize Theron mentioned similar experiences where she had no idea what she was filming, up to the point where she would ask the director what the hell he was doing. In the end, seeing the finished film greatly exceeded her expectations as well.
According to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, whenever she or the other Wives' clothes slipped, Tom Hardy would never tell them directly. Instead he would act out a cartoonish eye popping out action to let them know.
Tom Hardy suffered a broken nose during filming when Charlize Theron accidentally elbowed him. She was wearing a green arm cast at the time, which was used so the graphics artists could digitally remove Furiosa's arm.
The jacket worn by Tom Hardy is a replica of the one worn by Mel Gibson in the last two movies of the original trilogy. The original Gibson jacket was found in storage at Kennedy-Miller and copied heavily.
To prepare themselves to go into battle, ready to sacrifice their lives for Immortan Joe, the War Boys spray their lips and teeth with a silver substance, very much like common spray paint. Both the War Boys and Immortan Joe often speak about this as though it is a religious ritual, saying that it will allow them to enter "the gates of Valhalla, shiny and chrome". However, in a May 2015 interview with CraveOnline, actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, who plays Immortan Joe, said that this practice, which the War Boys think is purely ritualistic, actually involves the inhalation of "...a very euphoric drug" that keeps the War Boys high and suicidally devoted to Immortan Joe. Another clue to the spray's narcotic properties is the fact that "chrome" and "chroming" are Australian slang terms for inhalant abuse. Writer/director George Miller said that he got the idea for this from Australian filmmaker David Bradbury's 1981 Vietnam War documentary "Front Line", in which Cambodian soldiers preparing for battle suspend small jade figurines of Buddha from their mouths with little straps.
The cake-decorating company Wilton makes a decorative "Color Mist" in silver that is meant to be sprayed onto baked goods to give them a silver sheen. Before May 2015, the Amazon listing for this product contained a few pages of reviews only from bakers opining on the quality of the product when used as intended (on cakes). After the release of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), both the comments section and FAQ on the Amazon listing were filled with comments from users posting as though they were War Boys or Immortan Joe "reviewing" the product that the War Boys spray onto their mouths before going into battle. As of mid-June 2015, there were nineteen pages of Mad Max-related "reviews" of the Wilton product on Amazon.
The gesture made by the War Boys when they mesh their fingers together is the sign of the V8; they literally revere and worship the power of the engine. It may also be viewed as a reference to Valhalla.
The film was originally intended to star Mel Gibson in the title role back in 2003, but because director George Miller ran into problems with shooting locations, and Gibson's interest in The Passion of the Christ (2004), this never happened.
The script contains almost no profanities. The Dag says about Max "He's a crazy smeg who eats schlanger." The use of the word "smeg" echoes its use in the television series Red Dwarf (1988), where it was used as an alternative for various expletives. There was almost no swearing in the earlier Mad Max movies, either. "Schlanger" itself is an Aussie slang word for penis.
Director 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, who was 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.
Mel Gibson was at the Cannes premiere and approved of the movie. According to 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. And he started chuckling during the movie and I thought, There's that chuckle I remember! Mel kept chuckling, and 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."
Quentin Kenihan, the actor playing Corpus Colossus, is disabled in real-life (he has osteogenesis imperfecta - previously depicted in Unbreakable (2000), where Samuel L. Jackson's character was born with Type 1 Osteogenesis imperfecta). No prosthetics, puppets, or special effects were used; the only alterations to Mr. Kenihan were make-up.
The unique tracked vehicle driven by the Bullet Farmer, known as "The Peacemaker" was considered the most dangerous and problematic vehicle on set. It was constructed by mating a Ripsaw tank chassis with a Valiant Charger body. Despite extensive development, the vehicle still had severe problems with braking and engine cooling. The original diesel engine was replaced with a water cooled Merlin V8, which was itself replaced by a Chevrolet 502 V8 when the former was destroyed after ingesting sand on set. A complete redesign of the brake and cooling systems was required to make the vehicle usable on set. Like many of the vehicles used in the film, The Peacemaker was crushed after production concluded.
The vehicle driven by Immortan Joe, the "Gigahorse" is fully functional, and was designed and constructed entirely from scratch for the film. Fitting for Immortan Joe, the design of stacked Coupe DeVilles was intended to symbolize the power and status he wields. The Gigahorse was powered by dual supercharged Chevrolet 502 V8 engines linked together by a custom gearbox feeding into an Allison transmission. In this configuration, the Gigahorse produced over 1,200 horsepower and was capable of reaching 75 miles per hour. According to Hugh Keays-Byrne, who portrayed Immortan Joe, the vehicle was his favorite on-set, and could be heard for miles when it was being driven.
When Max awakes abruptly from his dream, right after the blue sequence, the last image of his dream is a close view of eyes popping out of a face. This footage is from Mad Max (1979), when Toecutter is killed.
There was a fan theory that Mad Max in this film is actually the Feral Kid from the second film, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981). Max does not speak very much in this film, and he grunts a lot like the Feral Kid. He also has a music box, like the one that Max gives the Feral Kid in the second film. However, a Vertigo comic miniseries cowritten by George Miller establishes that Hardy's Max is the same character as Mel Gibson's Max.
On July 12th 2017, Charlize Theron announced in an interview that George Miller is developing the first Mad Max spin-off film, adding that it would be a prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and that it focused on her character Furiosa.
Near the end of the credits, there is a memorial dedication that reads "Lance Allen Moore II, May 24, 1987 - March 10, 2015. "Moore was a Mad Max fan, killed in a motorcycle accident near Silverton, New South Wales, Australia, where Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) was filmed.
Production was originally set to film around 2011 in the traditional setting of Broken Hill, Australia, but due to heavy rainfall transforming the desert landscape into a lush meadow of flowers, the production was moved to Namibia.
George Miller has written a background story for The Doof Warrior, the heavy metal musician, played by Australian singer/songwriter Sean Hape (a.k.a. Iota), playing the flame-shooting electric guitar on The Doof Wagon.
According to Production Designer Colin Gibson, the sandy desert environment took a heavy toll on the vehicles used during filming. Nearly all intakes for the superchargers lacked air filters, and so were very prone to ingesting sand.
In a July 2014 interview at San Diego Comic-Con International, George Miller said he designed the film in storyboard form before writing the screenplay, working with five storyboard artists. It came out as about 3,500 panels, almost the same number of shots as in the finished film. He wanted the film to be almost a continuous chase, with relatively little dialogue, and to have the visuals come first. Paraphrasing Alfred Hitchcock, Miller said that he wanted the film to be understood in Japan without the use of subtitles.
The girl who Max sees in his visions, commonly believed to be his daughter, is in fact Glory the Child, who can be seen in the comic series. It can also be noted that she is seen being run down in a desert by a selection of vehicles, while Max's child was killed by a biker gang prior to the war.
George Miller directed the Mad Max action franchise, noted for its violence. Ironically, he is also the director of three family friendly films: the second Babe movie, Babe: Pig in the City (1998), and both Happy Feet pictures.
The budget for this film is estimated to be between 100 million dollars and $150 million U.S. dollars, while the converted budget for the original Mad Max (1979) is placed at around 316,620 dollars. That means that without inflation, the budget between the two films increased by well over three hundred times. (With inflation, the difference is 100 to 150 times.)
Immortan Joe's war club actually belonged to Hugh Keays-Byrne's mother-in-law. It was given to her during World War II. After she died, it was laying around, and Hugh thought it was interesting, so he took it.
Several vehicles, including The War Rig, Immortan Joe's double-decker 1959 Cadillac DeVille Gigahorse, The People Eater's Mercedes-Benz Limousine, and The Bullet Farmer's Valiant Charger Peacemaker, as well as The Doof Warrior's Doof Wagon and many of the vehicles driven by the War Boys, are left-hand drive. The appearance of left-hand drive vehicles is a first in the Mad Max movies. The previous films featured only Australian vehicles, which are right-hand drive, such as the rigs seen in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and Max's famous 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT V8 Pursuit Special (a.k.a. The Interceptor), seen in Mad Max (1979) and Mad Max 2 (1981) (and this film). In real-life, the Australian states and territories (since 2000) exempt the conversion of left hand drive automobiles to right hand drive if the vehicle is thirty years old (fifteen years old, if registered in Western Australia), but the rear turn signals must have orange/amber lenses.
Fans of the franchise were confused when it was speculated and debated if the reboot wasn't a reboot, and was a sequel or a prequel that took place before Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) (aka "The Road Warrior") or before Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). George Miller had stated that Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) was a reboot, and that he didn't want to do the same story again, and want the new incarnation of Max to be remembered as a man with nothing to lose. George Miller later confirmed that the film is a "revisiting" and is kind of a sequel to the previous "Mad Max" films and that it is mostly a relaunch and revisit to that world.
The idea for a fourth instalment occurred to George Miller in August 1998 when he was walking in an intersection in Los Angeles. About a year later, while travelling from Los Angeles to Australia, the idea coalesced. Miller conceived a story where "violent marauders were fighting, not for oil or for material goods, but for human beings." The film was set to shoot in 2001 through 20th Century Fox, but was postponed because of the September 11 attacks that same year. "The American dollar collapsed against the Australian dollar, and our budget ballooned", Miller said, adding that he "had to move on to Happy Feet (2006) because there was a small window when that was ready". Mel Gibson was also set to reprise his role as the lead character. Miller ended up re-casting the role because of controversies surrounding Gibson and because he wanted Max to remain at a younger age, as the "same contemporary warrior".
The little girl whose voice Max hears and Max sees in hallucinations is called Glory. In the backstory, Max was saved by a mysterious woman when his rebuilt Interceptor was stolen from Russian bandits called The Buzzards who left Max to die. Max agreed to help her rescue Glory from The Sunken City which was The Buzzards' hiding place. Max found and rescued Glory and took her to her mother. However, tragedy struck when pursuing Buzzards ran over Glory and her mother, and Max buried them.
In February 2013, a leaked draft from the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management group accused the producers of damaging parts of the Namib Desert, endangering a number of plant and animal species. However, the Namibia Film Commission said it had "no reservations" after visiting the set during production. It disputed claims reported in the media, calling the accusations "unjust rhetoric".
Tom Hardy had a dog named Max that was given to him when he was a teenager, he passed away in 2011. The dog's name was an honor to Mad Max (1979). Years later, Hardy played the title character in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley remarked that the cast and crew fraternized a lot after work since they were all residing in a small Namibian town (the nearest to the desert) without any tourist attractions or fine dining. Swakopmund is a major Namibian city, the capital of the Erongo Region, with a population of 44,725, and the major coastal tourist town in Namibia with lots of restaurants and tourist attractions. Part of the crew also stayed in Walvis Bay 41 kilometers south, population 85,000 and the major port for Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The first Mad Max film to win Oscars: The film won six Oscars at the 2016 Academy Awards. Best Achievement in Film Editing. Best Achievement in Costume Design. Best Achievement in Makeup and Hair Styling. Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. Best Achievement in Sound Editing, and Best Achievement in Production Design.
At the beginning of the film, Max has long hair which is cut short by the War Boys. A plausible nod to the previous film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) in which Max had long hair, which is later cut short by Savannah Nix, when she rescues him from the desert.
George Miller invited playwright Eve Ensler to act as an on-set adviser. Impressed with the script's depth and what she saw as feminist themes, she spent a week in Namibia, where she spoke to the actors and actresses about issues of violence against women.
Although the character Mad Max is an Australian, he has yet to be played by an Australian actor. Mel Gibson, the first Mad Max, was born in the U.S., although raised in Sydney, Australia.Tom Hardy The second Mad Max, was born in England.
John Seale, who came out of retirement to shoot the film, outfitted his camera crew with six Arri Alexa Pluses and four Alexa Ms, as well as several Canon EOS 5Ds, Olympus PEN E-P5s and Black Magic Cinema cameras that were strapped to the heads of actors and used as crash cams for the action sequences.
In the original film, the character Valkyrie is first introduced trapped in a cage and nude. In the international version, the scene was changed where she is shown wearing underwear. This was possibly done to avoid the film getting a more restrictive age rating in some countries.
The only Mad Max movie to be shot on Digital, and to contain CGI. CGI was used to create the Citadel, the sandstorm, duplicate actors for the crowd scenes, change background scenery, enhance explosions, erase wire work, to alter the sand and sky, the day for night sequences, and to composite shots together. According to John Seale, nearly every shot was computer manipulated in post-production.
Riley Keough, who plays the red-haired bride, Capable, is the daughter of Lisa Marie Presley, and the grand-daughter of Elvis Presley. Elvis Presley purchased Cadillacs for his friends and family, which outnumbered his personal collection. He purchased fourteen 1959 Cadillacs as 'give away' automobiles, mostly used for charitable causes. He did not own the 1959 model himself, since he was stationed in West Germany when serving in the U.S. Army. Only film to date in which Keough is seen in an automobile connected with her grandfather, who was an admirer of the Cadillac product line.
The music cue "Claw Trucks", composed by Dutch musician Tom Holkenborg (a.k.a. Junkie XL) for the film's score, is a revamp of his earlier composition "Dauntless Attack", written for the film Divergent (2014).
The film contains about 2,700 cuts of its entire running length, which is equivalent to 22.5 cuts per minute compared to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)'s 1,200 cuts of its 90-minute running time equivalent to 13.33 cuts per minute.
The Japanese release features a song titled "Out of Control" that plays over the end credits. The song is performed by American Rap rock band Zebrahead featuring famous Japanese Punk rock band Man with a Mission. The U.S. and international release features music composed by Junkie XL.
George Miller laid out a widely intricate backstory for the Coma-Doof Warrior. "The approach to the film was you have to be able to explain everything. Not only all the characters but every object how it all found its way into this world and how it survived." Miller told Deadline. "In his case he was blind from birth. when things started going a bit crazy he and his mother were left in a mining town. The only way they could survive was to go into a place where there was a competitive advantage to being blind. And that was to go deep down into a mineshaft where they were able to survive. He took what was most precious to him a musical instrument, probably a guitar." Miller went on to add to add to the Doof-Warriors lore, explaining: "as they were careening through the wasteland someone heard this music echoing out of that mine shaft, went down there and luckily they saw him as an asset. I think they killed his mother because she wasn't of any use. They took him and he eventually ended up as the equivalent of the drummer, the fife player or the bagpiper in Immortan Joe's army." In wanting to craft as authentic a "bagpiper" as possible Miller casted a real guitarist in the role: New Zealand Australian shredder iOTA . When iOTA stepped into the role he apparently took the backstory even further adding some particularly grisly details of his own. He told Audiences Everywhere in 2015, "I knew that George had said that Coma was found by Immortan Joe in a Cave and taken under his wing and he learned to be a musician. I kind of embellished that for myself. Basically, my story was that Coma was found with his mother's head, after she had been killed, and he was clinging to it and Immortan Joe came and found him and Coma took her face off and made the mask out of her face, to honor her when he went to war." iOTA went all-in when gearing up to bring to life the Coma-Doof Warrior and even prior to landing the role. Chatting with Yahoo! Movies in May 2015, iOTA shared that he went into the audition with dirt rubbed in his teeth, tattered clothes on his body, and black eye makeup on his face. "I just wanted it so bad, so I was going to go all the way. I got in the cab and the guy gave me a funny look," he said. Of course, he wound up getting the gig, and iOTA kept the flames of creative passion burning from then on. Shredding the guitar on set for six months was quite a wild experience, and iOTA poured his whole soul into the performance. "I just sort of got up there and jammed. Whatever I could come up with. It's a double-neck guitar, so it's a bass and six-string electric, but there's a base that I'm standing on and below that is a partial amplifier, so it's blaring, and it's totally squealing all the time. You're just thrashing on it, and making noise. I'm playing Zeppelin or Soundgarden or AC/DC or whatever I was feeling inspired to do," he said. "I was screaming my head off. The whole thing was just mind-boggling. I was just walking around set with my jaw open the whole time. It was incredible. And just tearing through the desert on that truck was really something else. You've gotta try it.""
When Nux head-butts Slit, there is a flash of white, which echoes a shot in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981): Wez head-butts a compound defender and there is a similar flash of white to show the impact.
Australian showbiz legend Bert Newton was one of the first character actors cast by George Miller when the movie was to be filmed in Broken Hill, New South Wales, the original location for Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), a.k.a. The Road Warrior. Unfortunately, rainfall had completely changed the desert landscape, and years later the decision was made to move the production to Namibia. It was then, in mid 2012, that Bert Newton decided to drop out of the production, going on to appear as Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Australian stage revival of "Annie".
During the project's hiatus between 2003 and 2009, George Miller considered making the film as a 3-D animated feature. In addition to that, George Miller was developing an action-adventure tie-in video game based on it, along with God of War II (2007), and video game designer Cory Barlog. Both projects were expected to take two to two-and-a-half years, according to Miller, with a release date of either 2011 or 2012. Fury Road was going to be produced at Dr. D Studios, a digital art studios founded in 2008 by Miller and Doug Mitchell.
Courtney Eaton was in her mid-teens during filming, and had much less film experience than the rest of the cast, so she ended up taking on the baby sister role among the actors in real-life, too. In addition, she became close friends with Abbey Lee, which is most likely why Cheedo and the Dag are always holding each other.
The long range rifle used by Charlize Theron is a Chinese Type 56 carbine (which is a Chinese manufactured variant of the Russian SKS but with a fully hooded front sight; production commenced in 1956 alongside the Type 56 assault rifle which is based on the AK-47). Originally designed in 1943 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov, it was based off the design of the AVS-36, but used the 7.62x39 round). The SKS was chosen as the standard service rifle with the Soviet armed forces in 1945 (it was chosen over a 1944 selective fire carbine design by Mikhail Kalashinkov, which lost out to the SKS, since Simonov was an elder statesman of Soviet gun design; this particular carbine design had features which were incorporated into the design of what evolved into the AK-47). Making its design seventy years old at the time of the films release.
The Bullet Farmer (Richard Carter), who styles himself the "Judge, Jury and Executioner" of the Bullet Farm, wears a headdress of bullets (which appear to be 7.62 caliber) in parody of a British Judge's wig. He has also replaced some of his teeth with bullets, which can be extracted and loaded into his weapons. After the Farmer is killed, Max brings a sack of weapons and ammo back to Furiosa and the Wives, with the headdress draped over his shoulder.
The People Eater is a businessman who is the mayor of Gas Town. Inside of his limousine is an abacus for keeping records of lost gas, blood, and soldiers. His steering wheel is adorned with human hair, because he is a known cannibal. This may be why he can be obese.
Despite having custom logos starting the film, Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures (and RatPac-Dune Entertainment) aren't credited until the very end of the film, after all other credits have rolled.
Of the actresses seen as the Five Wives, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Abbey Lee (her film debut), and Riley Keough have done runway modelling prior to acting. Huntington-Whiteley and Lee are past Victoria's Secret models (Lee was featured during the 2008 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show during the Pink Planet segment). Courtney Eaton started as a child and teen model prior to acting, and is a close friend to Lee.
The film was originally supposed to be shot in Australia, but there was a problem during pre-production when it rained for the first time in years, and the desert suddenly sprouted green, which clearly doesn't suit the bleak post apocalyptic look of the films. Eventually it was decided to move the entire production to Namibia to use the desert there, which involved shipping most of the bizarre, pre-built vehicles to southern Africa. Then just before production was about to start, it rained in the Namibian desert and delayed production yet again. The odd thing is that this is actually the third time that the franchise suffered delays from unexpected rain in the desert: it also happened during the making of Mad Max 2, when desert rain meant that the production was suspended for a week.
The character of Corpus Colossus was originally supposed to be killed off at the end (presumably by one of the Milk Mothers). This ending was shot with about ten takes until George Miller decided that he simply cannot kill off Corpus Colossus. The sequence was re-shot the next day in the form that made it into the movie, which made Corpus the only surviving member of Immortan Joe's family.
Corpus Colossus was not included in early versions of the script until Quentin Kenihan contacted George Miller himself asking if there was a role for him in the movie. Miller decided that the addition of Kenihan would create balance between him and Rictus Erectus and so the character of Corpus Colossus was written into the movie.
Courtney Eaton (Cheedo the Fragile) replaced Adelaide Clemens due to scheduling conflicts. This is her first film. She did not know anything about the films until her dad told her, who was a big fan of the films.
The unofficial Mad Max Wiki website indicates that the film takes place after Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985). The little girl in Max's vision was called Glory the Child, who appeared in the comics before Fury Road takes place. Max is seen driving a V8 interceptor at the beginning of the film, which was destroyed in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981). In the comics, Max was able to find another V8 Interceptor.
The film was the subject of extreme criticism from various conservative and anti-feminist commentators who were angry that Max himself was not the primary protagonist and that the central theme revolved more around Furiosa's story of finding her tribe and leading Joe's brides to freedom. However, critics still sided with Miller and the cast saying that Furiosa's story lent much more depth to the film.
When first spotting "The Gassers" from the War Rig, two breeders look from the window to spot them for Furiosa. One uses binoculars, while the other uses a spyglass. This is a reference to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), where he and the pilot use binoculars and a spyglass to watch the refinery get attacked by Humungus' crew.
During a May 2020 oral history of the making of Mad Max: Fury Road, production designer Colin Gibson remembered that in 2003, when Mel Gibson was still attached to the project, Colin got an email from Mel's then-wife asking "how many Muslims there may or may not be in Namibia and, therefore, how interested she may or may not be in the whole family coming to visit."
Although the movie is a reboot, George Miller had originally intended for Mad Max: Fury Road to be a direct sequel to Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985) with Mel Gibson returning once again as Max. However, it's been debated that Mad Max: Fury Road does take place in the original timeline and that Tom Hardy is the same Max that Mel Gibson played and Fury Road takes place after Thunderdome and that Max is still tormented by the demons of his past.
The lead visual effects company for the film was Iloura, who delivered more than 1,500 effects shots. Additional visual effects studios that worked on the film include Method Studios, Stereo D, 4DMax, BlackGinger, The Third Floor, and Dr. D Studios.
This is the first film in the Mad Max franchise in which the Max Rockatansky character is seen to fire a standard purpose-built handgun. As an MFP officer in Mad Max (1979), Max carries a revolver, but always reaches for a shotgun - including his iconic sawed-off shotgun - when the need for a weapon arises. In Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), Max only uses the sawed-off shotgun. In Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), Max threatens another character with a pistol, but never fires it, and handles a revolver without using it.
Megan Gale was planned to play Wonder Woman in Miller's Justice League. As that project fell through, Miller remembered about the Australian model/actress and specifically created a role for her in Fury Road. The character of The Valkyrie was supposed to be one of the surviving Vuvalini at the very end but due to Megan Gale's personal obligations the character had to be killed off quickly, so that Gale would return to Australia.
Furiosa calls Max "fool" when he doesn't tell her his name. This is a reference to 'The Fool's Journey', the story structure of this film. In this structure Max plays the role of "The Fool" co-writer Nico Lauthoris said that he used the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah and the Major Arcana in Tarot as a map for the story. it turns out that the 22 cards of the Major Arcana in Tarot form a story structure called 'The Fool's Journey'. When Furiosa refers to Max as "fool" this is a nod to the fact that Max represents the fool card in this story.
Writing about the film for ABC News, Michael Rothman described Immortan Joe as "a real bad guy who looks nothing like any villain that's ever graced the silver screen". Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson described him as "nightmarish" and "a fairly classic Miller creation with a skull fetish even a teenage goth would envy". Spencer Kornhaber of The Atlantic wrote, "Perhaps the closest 2015 has gotten to providing fodder for 'Greatest Villains of All Time' lists was in Mad Max: Fury Road, where slaver-warlord Immortan Joe sported a nauseating headpiece and an equally nauseating dadbod."
The Coma-Doof Warrior's double-neck guitar, which is a playable instrument weighed 60 kgs and had to be held up with bungie ropes. The lower neck is a bass guitar neck. Both headstocks have automotive spark plugs as tuning keys. It shot actual flames from a valve behind the upper headstock. The flamethrower controller is the whammy bar (though during close-up shots the whammy bar isn't screwed in). A piece of a Datsun 1600 chassis hangs below the guitar body. A guitar pedal is chained to Coma's waist. It appears charred beyond recognition, though the shape and design resembles a generic BOSS four-knob pedal.
Mel Gibson was discounted for the lead role for several reasons. One was sexist and racist controversies after run-ins with the police, and the other was because George Miller envisioned Max as still being a young man.
In real life, Quentin Kenihan has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease). It is quite likely that Corpus has the same condition. "Corpus Callosum" is a term for the region of the human brain that connects the left and right cerebral hemispheres.
Weta Digital was originally involved with the film when it was scheduled for a 2012 release. The company was to be handling visual effects, conceptual designs, specialty make-up effects, and costume designs until production was postponed from its November 2010 start date.
Fans of the popular British tabletop game Warhammer 40,000 noted that Immortan Joe and his War Boys bore several uncanny similarities to an Ork war band in the game. Specifically they cite the way the soldiers fought in an almost insane, nihilistic, devil-may-care fashion, and their vehicles possessed a DIY, scrapyard aesthetic, and only worked when they were in control of the vehicle.
Lord Humungus, the main antagonist of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and Emperor Palpatine, antagonist of the Star Wars series, are considered strong influences behind Immortan Joe. Like Palpatine, Immortan Joe is a disfigured tyrant, and like Lord Humungus, Immortan Joe conceals his deformed face behind a mask.
The film is considered to be a loose remake of Stagecoach (1939). George Miller cited the sequence in which Apaches pursue the stagecoach in that film an influence behind the climatic tanker chase in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) (aka "The Road Warrior").
Furiosa's personal sidearm is a blued Taurus PT99AF 9x19mm, which is confiscated by Max after he joins her and the wives. During the final chase, Immortan Joe draws and fires a stainless steel PT99AF at Max.
It was George Miller's idea to add trumpets and tubas to the MAN KAT I A1 (8x8) "Doof Wagon." Production designer Collin Gibson fought this idea for a while, but he realized that they could've come from a bus full of brass instruments that was ran over.
Furiosa's skill with long-range shots is actually displayed well before the moment she shoots out the Bullet Farmer's lights in the quagmire; earlier while taking a small reprieve, she shoots down two War Boys on a motorcycle who had just barely gotten into visual range -- with one bullet. Two birds with one stone. Even earlier than that; while the group was speeding out of the canyon facing off against the bikers -- take a look at how Furiosa and Max decided to take out their pursuers: Max opted for the handgun -- using as many shots as he needed to bring down a target; while Furiosa took the rifle -- and she aimed for headshots. This also foreshadows the Vuvalini's penchant for long-range rifles, as they say themselves: one man, one bullet.
Max gets a metal restraint mask chained onto his face for a good portion of the first act, which resembles Tom Hardy's role as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and his voice slips into Bane's at points. Nux's steering wheel also bears a doll head wearing what superficially resembles Bane's mask. Additionally, this time, he's the one who beats up a huge musclebound bald, superhumanly strong villain who wears a respirator mask on the lower half of his face and defeats him by disabling his oxygen supply.
Immortan Joe keeps a Colt Anaconda as one of his personal sidearms, and brandishes it during the first and last chase scenes. Both him and his eldest son, Rictus Erectus, also carry Ruger Vaqueros with stainless steel bodies and ivory grips as personal sidearms
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The portion of the blood-bag information tattoo being painfully needled into Max's back at The Citadel that was completed before he escapes reads: Day 12045, ht 10 hands, 180 lbs, No Name, No Lumps, No Bumps, Full Life Clear, Two good eyes, No Busted limbs, Piss OK, Genitals Intact, Multiple Scars, Heals Fast, O-NEGATIVE, 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 is Australian artist/musician Sean Hape, better known as Iota. In an interview on Vice (2013), he said the guitar weighed 132 pounds and shot real gas-powered flames, which he controlled using the whammy bar.
The last image is of Furiosa rising into Joe's Citadel, Max having melted into the crowds. George Miller disclosed: "Very early on, I had (Max) going up to the top of the Citadel with them. But Tom Hardy picked that up very early - Max would never go. He wasn't even remotely ready for that. We end on the idea of Furiosa and the others taking over all the resources. It asks the question: are they going to do any better?"
Even though it is an independent movie in the series, it has references to other Mad Max pictures: the opening shot resembles the beginning of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and the music box one of the wives carries is a nod to the music box Max gives the Feral Kid in the same movie. When Max suggests to Furiosa and the other women that they turn the rig around and drive back to where they have just come from this is a nod to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), as is Max's misfiring shotgun and when Max first approaches Furiosa with an unconscious body over his shoulder. He has a metallic brace on his leg just like in Mad Max 2, and was presumably worn in that film because of the injury he sustains being shot in the knee at the end of the previous film Mad Max (1979). Max is staked up front on Nux's Chevrolet coupe, same as the hostages on Lord Humugus' vehicle.
The scene where Nux flips the War Rig to block the pass was filmed almost entirely using practical effects at the insistence of George Miller, who believed using CGI would ruin the movie and models would be insufficient. The scene was filmed with master stunt driver Lee Adamson behind the wheel, as the War Rig was hydraulically launched onto its side at full speed. Although the production team planned for multiple takes if the War Rig failed to land in the right spot, the stunt was filmed flawlessly on the first and only take. Miller was initially alarmed while watching the footage, having seen the dummy representing Nux being partially crushed when the vehicle landed, and mistaking it for driver Lee Adamson, who was in a protective cage on the other side. After filming the demise of the War Rig, the Doof Wagon was filmed crashing into it from behind, as depicted in the film. CGI was used only for some of the debris.
Near the movie's end, Max (Tom Hardy) tells the unconscious Furiosa, 'My name is Max.' At the same time, he performs some facial tics (eyebrow raise, twitches, squints). This is a nod to Mel Gibson's style of acting, who used this technique to communicate a crazed/manic look.
When Max is tied to the front of Nux's car, there is a skull with a pilot's cap and goggles on a spike above him. This is a reference to the Gyro Captain, who appeared in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981).
Megan Gale's character "The Valkyrie" was originally supposed to live, but Gale became pregnant during production and had to leave the project early, so George Miller decided to kill her character off.
Max's 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT V8 Pursuit Special (aka The Interceptor), seen in the first two films, Mad Max (1979) and a near look alike Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), is seen in this film. Its appearance is nearly identical to its battered state seen in the second film, however the prequel comics to this movie reveal it is a completely different car. The new interceptor is quickly wrecked in the film's opening sequence, rebuilt, and ultimately wrecked again.
Max's sawed-off shotgun misfires when he tries to shoot off Nux's wrist, as it did in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981). (When Furiosa pulls the trigger, it doesn't misfire, as there was only one live cartridge in the gun, as Nux had fired off the other one earlier).
Charlize Theron will not return as Imperator Furiosa for Mad Max: The Wasteland. The "Mad Max" films are influenced by the western genre and like the mysterious gunfighter, Max leaves and moves on to an entirely new adventure.
A theory supposes that this was originally planned as a sequel to Mad Max (1979) and a prequel to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), with Immortan Joe as Toe Cutter, who survived the accident in Mad Max but was badly injured, and Rictus Erectus was supposed to survive the accident at the end of the film to become Lord Humungus. This is not substantiated by any comments by the creators and directly contradicts the movie's production history.
When Max asks Nux if he's a "blackthumb" and can fix Engine #1 while they are on the War Rig may be a reference to the character Blackfinger from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), who is the chief mechanic in Bartertown.
After the War Rig is driven off the platform and the platform begins to rise as it is drawn back up into The Citadel, a lone woman can be seen standing in the center. In the previous wide-angle shot of the crowd, The Wretched were shown begging for a place in Immortan Joe's coterie. This woman, played by Debra Ades, was likely brought aboard to be used as a milker or breeder.
The blood-bag information tattoo on Max's back contains a description of his capture: "Lone Road Warrior Rundown on The Powder Lakes V8". Calling him a "Road Warrior" is a reference to the second film, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), which was released under the title "The Road Warrior" in the U.S.
In one of the scenes, the War Rig has a collision with a black Mack tractor unit. The same style of Mack tractor unit was featured in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) to pull the fuel tanker trailer.
After Max searches Furiosa's cab for weapons, and leaves with all her guns, Furiosa reveals a hidden knife sheathed in her gear shift. In Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), Max is disarmed before entering Bartertown, but hides a knife sheathed in a fly swatter.
Immortan Joe wears a face mask for medical purposes, which is functionally similar to the mask worn by Tom Hardy when he portrayed Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (2012). In both films, each character is defeated by the hero damaging or destroying the mask.