Mad Max: Fury Road Almost Didn't Have One Of Its Best Characters

Mad Max: Fury Road is regarded as a modern masterpiece, but it almost did not feature one of its most memorable and striking characters. Kyle Buchanan, who wrote the must-read oral history of Fury Road for The New York Times, shared another story on Twitter from his interviews about one of the characters that almost got axed.

The studio, Warner Bros., was eager to cut the Doof Warrior character due to poor testing, director George Miller said. The character, who is seen in Fury Road strapped to the front of the Doof wagon shredding a double-neck guitar that can shoot fire, tested badly because the rough cut shown to Warner Bros. and test audiences contained only temporary music. “Whenever the Doof Warrior played in the test screening, it was the same riff, so it got annoying,” Miller said.

Some people at Warner Bros. said, “‘Oh, we’ve got to drop the Doof Warrior,'” Miller recalls. But the Australian director defended the character and got the studio onboard once they hired Junkie XL to do the music. “He became one of the most popular characters in the film,” Miller said.

Another neat anecdote from Fury Road’s production is that the Doof Warrior’s guitar actually works. Production designer Colin Gibson said the guitar had 60 moving parts and it actually shot flames. Miller saw the design one day and said he was excited to hear what it sounded like. But Gibson said he didn’t originally plan for it to make noise–thankfully, one of his team members in the production design crew was a guitarist and was able to rig the guitar to actually play.

If you haven’t already, you really should read the full oral history of Mad Max: Fury Road here at The New York Times.

In other Mad Max news, Miller is working on a spin-off focused on one of Fury Road’s breakout stars, Furiosa. She was played by Charlize Theron, but Miller is looking for a different actress for the new movie. The last we heard, Miller was conducting auditions over Skype for the movie, which is due in 2021.

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