10 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About The Road Warrior
Forget Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Star Wars Episode 7, and whatever else is on your cinematic radar: for a large (and largely Australian) audience, the most important film heading our way in 2015 is the long awaited Mad Max: Fury Road, which sees original auteur George Miller directing Tom Hardy in the role made famous by Mel Gibson. While the anticipation ramps up and the early, overwhelmingly positive, reviews roll in, here are a few things you may not know about the leather clad desert warrior.
1. Director George Miller was inspired by his work as a doctor.
Before he turned to film, George Miller was a qualified MD, and the horrific injuries he saw from road accident victims he treated while working the emergency ward inspired him to make a movie rooted in Australia’s car culture.
2. Mel Gibson won the role thanks to his temper.
When the young Mel Gibson attended auditions with his close friend Steve (Jim Goose) Bisley, he was sporting a messed-up mug from a fight he’d been involved in the previous night. The casting director told him to come back for a second reading, saying “We need freaks.”
3. Hugh Keays-Byrne was a Shakespearian actor.
The noted character actor has built a career playing villains and weirdos in everything from Mad Max to Stone to Salute Of The Jugger, but he originally came to Australia as part of a Royal Shakespeare Company tour, electing to stay to pursue an affair with a “…gorgeous hippie girl.”
4. Lord Humungous was originally an old friend.
The villain in Mad Max 2 is a scarred and masked bodybuilder, but in an early draft he was actually revealed to be Max’s old partner Goose, turned evil following his disfiguring in the first film. The idea was eventually dropped during preproduction.
5. Fury Road didn’t have a script.
…not as normally understood. Miller worked with comic book artist Brendan McCarthy to develop the story via creating 35,000 storyboard panels, with dialogue and detail being added in later.
6. Global warming ruined the planned Australian shoot.
Fury Road was originally going to be filmed at Broken Hill, but unseasonal rains made the desert bloom with greenery, forcing the shoot to relocate to Namibia. Some limited shooting took place in Sydney.
7. There’s a new trilogy planned.
Miller has said that, if Fury Road proves popular, he has “…two more stories to tell.” Hopefully they won’t take as long.
8. Mad Max made the Guinness Book Of Records.
… as the most profitable film ever, taking in over $100 million worldwide against a budget of about $380,000. It wasn’t until The Blair Witch Project came along that the record was beaten.
9. Maurice Jarre has a thing for deserts.
The score composer for Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome also created the iconic music for David Lean’s Lawrence Of Arabia. Fury Road‘s score, however, is by Junkie XL.
10. It was almost a cartoon.
After years of gruelling development hell, George Miller considered doing the film as a 3D animated feature. Reckon we dodged a bullet there.