The Mad Max franchise features several characters that have been played by multiple actors over the years. The Mad Max movies feature plenty of deaths, meaning that despite the large cast there are actually very few returning characters in the franchise. However, those that do return are often recast, with a variety of actors playing the returning characters throughout the series’ run. The long-running Mad Max franchise has a pretty complex development history and expanded universe, so here is ever Mad Max character that is played by multiple actors.
Director George Miller’s beloved post-apocalyptic franchise started in 1979 with the original Mad Max, a small-scale movie starring a vengeful police officer living in a dystopia. After the original trilogy ended with 1985’s Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, the franchise went on a bit of a hiatus, with George Miller not returning to the Wasteland until 2015. Then, George Miller rebooted Mad Maxwith Mad Max: Fury Road, which gave the series a second life. The legacy sequel’s immense popularity has led to further sequels being made, including Furiosaand Mad Max: The Wasteland. Throughout this long history, six characters have been played by multiple actors in Mad Max projects.
6 Mad Max
The most obvious Mad Max character that has been played by multiple characters is the titular Road Warrior himself, “Mad” Max Rockatansky. Actor Mel Gibson portrayed Max in all three films in the original trilogy, which consisted of Mad Max, The Road Warrior, and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. However, Mel Gibson was too old to reprise his role in Mad Max: Fury Road, leading to Tom Hardy being cast as Max. While the characterization of Tom Hardy’s Mad Max is different, it is meant to be the same character. It is believed that Mad Max: The Wasteland will bring back Hardy, but this isn’t yet confirmed.
Interestingly, Gibson and Hardy aren’t the only actors to play Mad Max. Unbeknownst to many, the Mad Max franchise has a pretty extensive expanded universe, consisting of things like comics and video games. The 2015 Mad Max video game is actually canon to the franchise, with it being based on untold stories from George Miller’s notes. In the 2015 Mad Max game, Australian actor Bren Foster provides the motion capture and voice of Max Rockatansky, making him the third actor to portray the Road Warrior. While it’s always possible that Max could get recast again one day, so far only three actors have played the character.
Mad Max: Fury Road introduced a new character names Imperator Furiosa, who instantly became a fan-favorite. In the 2015 film, Furiosa is played by actress Charlize Theron, with the actress bringing a great sense of danger to the quiet yet lethal character. The character is actually getting her own spin-off movie, with the Furiosa prequel well into development. However, the titular character has already been recast, with Anya Taylor-Joy taking over Theron’s role in Furiosa. The reasoning behind this sudden recasting isn’t known, but it has caused a lot of conversation and debate.
While Taylor-Joy’s Imperator Furiosa hasn’t been seen yet, she will surely do a great job, much like Theron. Furiosa doesn’t appear in the Mad Max video game, meaning that Theron and Taylor-Joy are the only two actresses to portray the character. It isn’t yet known if Furiosa will reappear in the next sequel, Mad Max: The Wasteland, but the possibility that she could show up leads to an interesting situation. George Miller could capitalize on the Furiosa prequel by keeping Taylor-Joy, or he could maintain continuity with Mad Max: Fury Road by bringing back Theron.
4 Immortan Joe
Immortan Joe is the main villain of Mad Max: Fury Road, with the fearsome lord of the Citadel hunting down Max and Furiosa after they attempt to free Immortan Joe’s wives. In the 2015 film, Immortan Joe is played by Hugh Keays-Byrne, who sadly passed away in 2020. Hugh Keays-Byrne’s performance as Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the highlights of the film, but it actually isn’t his only contribution to the franchise. The actor actually played the main villain in the original 1979 Mad Max, Toecutter, with him only returning to the franchise years later for Mad Max: Fury Road.
The official synopsis for the Furiosa prequel has revealed that a young Immortan Joe will appear in the film, meaning that another actor will have to portray the character. Furiosa‘s casting has hinted at Immortan Joe’s actor, although it hasn’t explicitly revealed who the second performer to play the villain will be. Several actors have been cast in unknown roles, with one of the more popular Immortan Joe candidates being Tom Burke, who replaced the role that was to be played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. It is also theorized that Chris Hemsworth could play Immortan Joe, with the huge movie star possibly following in the footsteps of Hugh Keays-Byrne.
3 The Feral Kid
One side character from the original Mad Max trilogy that was played by two actors is The Feral Kid. Appearing in The Road Warrior, The Feral Kid is a young member of a group of survivors that assists Max at the end of the film, with The Road Warrior‘s Feral Kid becoming one of the most memorable parts of the film. In the film, the young character is played by child actor Emil Minty. However, it is later revealed that The Road Warrior‘s narrator is an older version of The Feral Kid, voiced by Harold Baigent.
2 The Organic Mechanic
The Organic Mechanic is a doctor that lives in the Citadel, with the character first being introduced in Mad Max: Fury Road. In the film, The Organic Mechanic is played by Insidious actor Angus Sampson, with Sampson already confirmed to reprise his role in the Furiosa prequel. However, The Organic Mechanic also appears in the 2015 Mad Max video game, where he is played by voice actor Fred Tatasciore.
1 Glory The Child
Glory the Child is a young girl that haunts Max in Mad Max: Fury Road, with her and her mother having died under Max’s watch. In Mad Max: Fury Road, Glory is played by Coco Jack Gillies, although that isn’t the character’s only appearance. Glory also appears in the 2015 Mad Max video game, where she is voiced by Madison Carlon. For a franchise with as few recurring characters as Mad Max, a surprising amount of them have been played by multiple actors.