What’s Up With The Mad Max Series’ Wonky Timeline? Fans Have Figured It Out

What’s Up With The Mad Max Series’ Wonky Timeline? Fans Have Figured It Out
Image credit: Legion-Media, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

The Road Warrior’s backstory may seem like a riddle for the ages, but the fans may have a clue about the goings-on.


  • The Mad Max film franchise comprises several esteemed science-fiction action movies that have grossed more than $515 million worldwide.
  • Each of the films so far has featured the character of Max, a mysterious vigilante who dwells in a post apocalyptic world and fights against outlaws and other wrongdoers who terrorize the remainders of the human society.
  • The Mad Max setting has a loosely-defined canon without a clear chronology of story-related events, which leads to fan theories about aspects such as the age and the true identity of the main character.

After a deft and gritty revival in the form of 2015’s award-winning blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road, the series about the Road Warrior has become one of the hottest entries in the realm of cinematic science fiction – a vast change from its relatively low-profile debut back in 1981. Audiences are looking forward to see the long-awaited latest installment in the series, the spin-off film Furiosa, starring Anya-Taylor Joy as a younger version of the character Furiosa from Fury Road.

However, while the franchise’s future is certainly buoyed by a fair amount of goodwill, the fandom is less thrilled about the current lore of the series regarding the in-universe timeline of its past events, or, rather, a lack thereof.

In particular, the recently-released Furiosa trailer drew a puzzled reaction from a subset of lore-obsessed fans on social media who are confused as to where it fits in within the series’ presumed timeline.

This confusion is owing to the statement of series creator George Miller that the events of the prequel take 45 years after the original film and the fact that the Max character as seen in Furiosa sequel Fury Road is supposed to be in roughly the same age bracket as the spin-off’s protagonist, which makes little sense.

Not helping the matters are Miller’s latest remark that Max is “lurking in the background” of Furiosa and the fact that the role is presently played by the 46-year-old leading man Tom Hardy, who replaced Mel Gibson, 68, back in Fury Road. This points to the probability of the now-older Hardy playing Max’s younger version in Furiosa, which would stress the age disparity between the series’ titular hero and the leading lady of Furiosa even further.

However, the same subset of lore analysts among the fandom has put together a theory that might at least hand-wave some of the plot-related awkwardness away.

The fan-posited take offers the view that Max is not a singular figure, but rather a multi-generational symbolic persona whose name and legend are passed between various adventurers in the franchise’s setting.

That would nicely explain the drastic casting shakeup regarding the main character in Fury Read, as well as the aforementioned gaps in the series’s timeline.