Mad Max: The Wasteland: Everything We Know So Far

"Mad Max: Fury Road" lit the film industry on fire and rode its flaming husk across the desert when it came out in 2015. But it's been more than eight years since The Doof Warrior shredded his way into our hearts, which feels like an eternity in an era that's dominated by franchise films that are churned out once every couple of years. But director George Miller has talked about wanting to make a sequel titled "Mad Max: The Wasteland," so grab some guzzoline, take a seat in the ol' war rig, and ride into Valhalla with us as we run down everything we know about that project so far.

When and where to watch Mad Max: The Wasteland

Since the movie has not started casting yet, let alone started production, it'll likely be many more years until Mad Max rides again in "The Wasteland." But fans of the franchise should take solace in the fact that a prequel film entitled "Mad Max: Furiosa," which features "The Queen's Gambit" actress Anya Taylor-Joy taking over the title role from Charlize Theron, has a release date: That movie will skid into theaters on May 24, 2024. In fact, "The Wasteland" is so far away that it's too early to even speculate about how you'll be able to watch the movie. Will it be released exclusively in theaters? Will the only way to see it be projected on the side of a cliff underneath a waterfall that releases water once per day because we'll all be living in an actual wasteland by the time the film comes out? Who knows!

What we think Mad Max: The Wasteland is about

In an old interview with FHM, Miller explained that he had two more "Mad Max" projects kicking around in his head at the time: "Furiosa" and "The Wasteland." When asked if they would follow on from each other, he responded:

"They'll be tangentially linked. They're all in the same world, but they won't be direct sequels. During the huge delays on 'Fury Road,' we developed deep backstories from everything from weapons to vehicles to the Doof Warrior who plays the guitar. The film is very helter-skelter, so you have to help the audience pick up as much as possible on the way."

But in all likelihood, "The Wasteland" will probably end up chronicling the continuing adventures of Mad Max, A.K.A. Max Rockatansky, a former cop whose family was murdered by a gang and who sought revenge against those who committed that terrible crime. Since then, he's become something of an archetypical Western hero, riding into small towns and situations, engaging in action and brutality, and then riding off into the sunset after the conflict is resolved.

What we know about the Max Mad: The Wasteland cast and crew

As of 2015, Tom Hardy was contracted to star in three more "Mad Max" movies. It's unclear when that contract expires, but Hardy had a famously tough time on the set of "Fury Road," so it feels like a toss-up whether or not he'd return to reprise the role. It certainly wouldn't be the end of the world if he didn't come back — after all, the role has already been recast once. But don't expect to see Charlize Theron return as Furiosa: Miller said her character is "not in the 'Mad Max' [sequel] story".

We're guessing George Miller would return to co-write the script alongside Nick Lathouris and to direct the movie, since he's directed every "Mad Max" film so far. But he's also mentioned that he would be interested in seeing other directors, including Guillermo del Toro, step into his sandbox and direct a "Mad Max" movie, so something like that is also a possibility, given how far off this project still is.

A lawsuit slowed things down

In 2017, George Miller's production company sued Warner Bros. for not paying a $7 million bonus the studio had allegedly promised to pay if Miller delivered "Mad Max: Fury Road" under budget. Disagreements and spats resulted in a temporary rift that put the brakes on all "Mad Max"-related projects while the case wound its way through the courts. Ultimately, the clash was settled out of court with a confidential settlement payment from the studio.

"In every case we've had litigation with a studio, everyone on the other side at the studio was in a state of flux," Miller told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's happened twice: a new head comes in, looks at what the previous regime has done and ... says, 'Why are we in litigation with those people? We should be making films with them.'" Producer Doug Mitchell explained that they "found an arrangement which gave us the compensation that we felt we were missing and an appetite to go forward," and after the settlement, Warner Bros. Discovery backed the production of "Furiosa." Thankfully, it seems this rift has been mended, so it shouldn't affect the potential making of "The Wasteland" down the line.

George Miller has a story for The Wasteland, but it's not ready yet

While a prequel titled "Furiosa" that will center on a younger version of the character from "Fury Road" is the movie George Miller ultimately decided to make, that doesn't mean any other plans fell by the wayside. Regarding the status of "The Wasteland," in May 2022, the filmmaker explained that "we do have another story but it's still not fully evolved. We'll see further down the chain." What that seems to imply is Miller will need to completely get "Furiosa" out in the world. After that? Perhaps he could set about making the sequel. Though it does sound like a great deal of work still needs to be done, and that would take some time. It wouldn't be happening right away. So fans need to likely temper expectations in terms of seeing the franchise continue with a sixth entry beyond "Furiosa." And, not for nothing, but Miller, as of this writing, is 78. He isn't getting any younger and he may not want to spend the rest of his life with "Mad Max." Then again, who knows? Clint Eastwood is still making movies, and he's now 93 years old.

Where you can rent or stream all of the Mad Max movies

While fans wait for "The Wasteland" to hopefully come to fruition, there are still four classic "Mad Max" movies to watch from the comfort of home in the meantime. As for where and how to watch them, the franchise doesn't have a permanent streaming home in the way that the Marvel Cinematic Universe does on Disney+. As of this writing, for example, the original "Mad Max" is available to stream on Tubi for free, as well as on Paramount+ and MGM+. However, the other films are not available on a major streaming service at this time. The good news is, "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior," "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome," and "Mad Max: Fury Road" are all available to rent from virtually every major digital retailer. This includes Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu, and others. Currently, the rental price is $3.99 for HD. So pick your preferred retailer, throw down a few bucks, and stream away. That would be the easiest option. Or, there is always physical media, such as picking up a box set of the movies on Blu-ray, for those who enjoy that route.