Mad Max: Fury Road is out this weekend, and by all accounts, it is fantastic. It also happens to be the fourth Mad Max movie, which begs the question, do you need to see the other three first?
Is Mad Max: Fury Road a sequel, a remake, or something else?
Thankfully for anyone who’s not looking forward to catching up on six hours of Mel Gibson this weekend, you definitely do not need to see the previous three movies before Fury Road.
In fact, Fury Road is likely not a sequel at all, although it certainly isn’t a remake of any of the other movies in the series either.
Five years ago when the film was still in pre-production, Tom Hardy stated that:
It’s a relaunch and revisit to the world. An entire restructuring. That’s not to say that it’s not picking up or leaving off from the Mad Max you know already, but it’s a nice re-take on the entire world using the same character, depositing him in the same world but bringing him up to date by 30 years.
That’s held true through the various drafts of the screenplay; and is fairly in line with the rest of the Mad Max films, which had, at best, a very loose chronology.
Making matters confusing though is the fact that Hugh Keays-Byrne, who plays the antagonist in Fury Road, also played the villain in the original Mad Max. These aren’t the same characters though, nor are they related in any way.
While Fury Road is not itself a sequel, it just might have its own followups though. George Miller and Brendan McCarthy reportedly have enough unused story material for two more Mad Max scripts, one of which (titled Furiosa) has already been finished. For Tom Hardy’s part, he’s contracted to star in up to four more Mad Max movies, so he’s in for the ride as well.