In preparing Mad Max: Fury Road, director George Miller and his collaborators wrote detailed backstories for the two main characters — Tom Hardy’s Max and Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa — about their lives prior to the events of the film. They weren’t necessarily intended as prequels, or even for use onscreen in Fury Road. Their stated purpose was to provide details for the actors and filmmakers to use to help inform their choices in making Fury Road. 

That raw material about Furiosa’s early years became the foundation for the just-released Furiosa: A Mad Max SagaMiller has made it clear that he’d like to do the same thing with Max’s backstory, in a prequel/sequel that would be called Mad Max: The Wasteland.

But so far this summer movie theaters have been a bit of a wasteland, and it looks like that could potentially bring the Mad Max saga to its actual apocalyptic end. The Hollywood Reporter says that Furiosa’s disappointing opening weekend has “complicated” the “fate” of The Wasteland project. (They also “stress it wasn’t even in development” yet.)

Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures

READ MORE: Read Our Full Review of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

They claim The Wasteland movie (if it was made) would “follow Max Rockatansky in the year before Fury Road, and is said to involve a young mother — and (naturally) include plenty of action.” (Duh.)

Making a prequel set just in the year before Fury Road could make The Wasteland more appealing to Warner Bros., the distributor of all the Mad Max films, in at least one regard: It could then feature Tom Hardy in the lead role. Furiosa was about more than a decade in the life of Furiosa prior to the events of Fury Road. Miller replaced Charlize Theron in the title role with Anya Taylor-Joy, a factor that one unnamed studio “insider” in THR’s piece blamed for the film’s box office struggles. (“I think Furiosa suffered without Charlize. People who see the movie love it. The problem is getting them into theaters. [Theron] would have been able to do that.”)

Then again, Mad Max seemed like a defunct franchise before. It took decades to get Fury Road after Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. If these movies have taught us anything, it’s that when all seems lost, there may yet still be a chance for redemption.

ScreenCrush logo
Get our free mobile app

Futuristic Sci-Fi Movies That Are Now Set In The Past

When these sci-fi movies came out, they offered predictions for the future of society — years later, they're officially set in the past.

More From ScreenCrush