George Miller’s Mad Max has over 4 films in its franchise, with additional sequels being added to the popular list. The ones that have bowled us over already are Mad Max (1979), The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). We might have seen the incredible story-line and performance of the talented stars in the following movies but are you aware of these astounding facts listed below?
DIRECTOR GEORGE MILLER WORKED AS A DOCTOR TO RAISE MONEY FOR MAD MAX
The first film had a budget of only $350,000 which wasn’t enough to weave the incredible story-line together. George Miller worked as an emergency room doctor on the side to save money.
According to Miller, “It was very low budget and we ran out of money for editing and post-production, so I spent a year editing the film by myself in our kitchen, while Byron Kennedy did the sound, and then working as an emergency doctor on the weekends to earn money to keep going. I’d got my best friend, and friends of friends of friends of his, and Byron ditto, and I thought, Oh my God, we made a film and it won’t cut together and we’re going to lose all their money.’”
You can see Miller’s knowledge of medical history in the film with various scenes pointing to operations and organ-removing autopsies.
MEL GIBSON WENT TO THE MAD MAX AUDITION TO ACCOMPANY HIS FRIEND, NOT FOR THE PART
In the first installment of the Mad Max franchise, the protagonist Mel Gibson had gone to the audition’s location only to accompany his friend. He recently had a fight with half a rugby team the other day and was bruised all over. While waiting for his friend, the casting guys took pictures of Gibson as well for some ‘freak’ role and asked him to come back when he healed.
When he did, Miller gave him the role on the spot. According to Gibson, “It was real weird. [Miller] said, ‘Can you memorize this?’ and it was like two pages of dialogue with a big speech and stuff. I was like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I went into the other room and just got a gist of what it was and I came out and just ad-libbed what I could remember. I guess they bought it.”
GEORGE MILLER PAID MAD MAX CREW MEMBERS IN BEER
With barely enough money to finish the original film, Miller offered to pay ambulance drivers, a tractor driver, and some of the bikers on set with 24 cans of beer, according to The Guardian.
MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR WAS INSPIRED BY THE OIL CRISES OF THE 1970’s
Source: GoCurry Cracker
George Miller had lived in the lovely city of Melbourne. His inspiration for the story-line of the second installment of Mad Max was the oil crises in the 70’s. The only people who could get any oil were the emergency workers, firemen, hospital staff and the police. In over 10 days, in that lovely city of Melbourne people were up in arms due to the suffering. Miller just thought of the same crises in the future when people would be less patient and more impulsive.
MEL GIBSON ONLY HAD 16 LINES OF DIALOGUE IN THE ROAD WARRIOR
Source: Digital Spy
Upon Fury Road’s release in 2015, social media lit up with complaints that Tom Hardy was underutilized, only there to grunt and utter a couple of one-liners. But just to remind you, in Mad Max 2, Mel Gibson only has 16 lines of dialogue.
On his use of sparse dialogue, Miller told The New York Times, “Hitchcock had this wonderful saying: ‘I try to make films where they don’t have to read the subtitles in Japan.’ And that was what I tried to do in Mad Max 1, and I’m still trying to do that three decades later with Fury Road.”
GIBSON SAYS THE ROAD WARRIOR IS HIS FAVORITE OF THE TRILOGY
Before the release of Fury Road, Miller said that The Road Warrior was his favorite. “It still holds up because it’s so basic,” Gibson said. “It’s about energy—it didn’t spare anyone: people flying under wheels, a girl gets it, a dog gets it, everybody gets it. It was the first Mad Max, but done better. The third one didn’t work at all.”
BEYOND THUNDERDOME WAS INSPIRED BY LORD OF THE FLIES
Source: Good Reads
Miller never thought of making a third Mad Max, though one fine day he and his co-writer Terry Hayes were talking about the foundation of mythology. Mainly about how people deeply believe strongly about religion or intangible elements of energy when they run short of knowledge. They discussed about the Aboriginal tribe of Australia where the people take tit-bits of the limited information and construct elaborate mythological beliefs based on that.
They used this concept and invented the character Max who would kick all these elaborate ideas off the minds of these Lord of the Flies type kids.
TINA TURNER WAS CAST IN BEYOND THUNDERDOME BECAUSE OF HER POSITIVE PERSONA
Tina Turner was the first name that came out of Miller’s mouth owing to her positive persona. He wanted someone who emits a specific charisma, a positive charm and who is a strong survivor. All that they wanted in that character was how Tina Turner was perceived.
MAD MAX CHARACTERS’ NAMES HINT AT THEIR BACKSTORIES
Leave the names of the characters. In Mad Max the names of every object is also kept to provide with its back-story, for example a character named Immortan Joe is a slight adjustment to the word ‘immortal’.
GEORGE MILLER IS A PROUD FEMINIST
Source: Daily Mail
Perhaps evidenced by Charlize Theron’s scene-stealing role as Imperator Furiosa, Miller is a proud, outspoken feminist. According to Miller “I’ve gone from being very male dominant to being surrounded by magnificent women. I can’t help but be a feminist.”
That female influence even stretched behind the scenes, with Miller asking his wife Margaret Sixel to edit Fury Road. “I said, ‘You have to edit this movie, because it won’t look like every other action movie,” Miller recalled.