In the desolate world of George Miller’s Mad Max franchise, one man who has become a legend is Max Rockatansky. Played by Tom Hardy in the critically acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road, the British actor’s portrayal of Mad Max on the big screen impressed global viewers of the film.

Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road
Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road | via Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube

Now, with the release of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, which is a prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road, fans got a brief glimpse of Max Rockatansky, but only in a cameo appearance that raised more questions than answers as to what this could mean for the franchise and future installments.

George Miller Gives Details About Max Rockatansky’s Cameo in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga | via Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube

While Anya Taylor-Joy‘s Furiosa fights for her life in the post-apocalyptic world, viewers have noticed a brief glimpse of Tom Hardy‘s character, Max Rockatansky. Standing beside his Interceptor, the character watches the events of the movie unfold as a witness to the upcoming hardships.

What makes this cameo even more interesting is the fact that Hardy, who played Max in Fury Road, was not present on the set of Furiosa. Instead of him, it was Jacob Tomuri, who worked as Hardy’s stunt double for years.

In a recent conversation with Josh Horowitz on his podcast, Happy Sad Confused, director George Miller talked about the cameo of Rockatansky in that brief scene. When Horowitz asked if Miller had ever considered Hardy for the cameo, he said,

No, because just in terms of the the logistics of it. Again we were shooting during COVID and Jacob Tomuri, who is a wonderful stuntman from New Zealand, did so much brilliant work, you know, with Tom.

And I think subsequently, with his work with Tom quite a bit, he did some other stunt sequences in the movie and I thought ‘oh he’s here and he certainly knows the character and he certainly looks the part and for the shot he worked’.. no but we we didn’t didn’t think in terms of Tom.

It was logical to continue with Miller’s use of Tomuri not only because it retained the connection to Hardy’s interpretation but also because it was possible to incorporate Rockatansky into the plot smoothly without having to alter the complicated schedule of the production.

Will We See Mad Max in the Future of the Franchise?

Mad Max: Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury Road | Credits: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc./Jasin Boland

As far as the future of the Mad Max series is concerned, Miller and the crew have big things in store. There are two potential projects that might set the future of the franchise. One is Mad Max: The Wasteland which will be the direct sequel to Fury Road while there is also a prequel that is set a year before Fury Road.

In an interview with Men’s Health, the action designer for Furiosa, Guy Norris said,

There’s already another very, very well-developed project called The Wasteland. We’re in the lap of the audience gods as to what everybody thinks of this. If everything aligns very well, I’m hoping that very shortly we’ll be back out in the desert somewhere in Australia continuing the Mad Max saga.

In an interview with AV Club, Miller talked about the future plans related to Max Rockatansky,

We also wrote, not a screenplay, but almost in novel form, Nico Lathouris and I, what happened to Max in that year before, and that’s something that we’ll look at further down the track later. 

While the plot details of these projects are not revealed, one thing that is clear is that Max Rockatansky will definitely have a role to play in both stories, as both stories will focus on what happened to Tom Hardy’s character.

However, it is still unclear if Hardy will return to the role or if the filmmakers will recast the part. The future of the franchise also depends on the box-office performance of Furiosa.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga was released in theaters on May 23, 2024, in Australia and May 24, 2024, in the US.

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