Even after all the critical and commercial success it received, it is difficult to believe a movie like Mad Max: Fury Road actually got made. The film walks an extremely delicate tightrope between over-the-top action blockbuster and post-apocalyptic melodrama. There were so many bizarre elements to the story that would have been a difficult sell to the studio. One such element was the Doof Warrior, which director George Miller revealed during a recent interview for New York Times, almost got cut by Warner Bros. after the initial test screening.
"The Doof Warrior tested really badly at first. We had temp music, and whenever the Doof Warrior played in the test screening, it was the same riff, so it got annoying. A couple people at the studio said, 'Oh, we've got to drop the Doof Warrior.' I said, 'No no, it's way too early to even think of that,'"
The Doof Warrior, played by performance artist and musician iOTA, was a blind guitarist who was part of Immortan Joe's militia, who was in charge of playing a sick riff on his fire-belching guitar while hanging wildly from the back of one of Immortan Joe's war rigs. It's possibly the most metal character ever created for a movie, and he almost got cut because the tune they picked out for his guitar as a placeholder was too annoying.
Fortunately, George Miller stuck to his guns, and once the actual Junkie XL score was added on, the character was allowed to stay in the film, instantly becoming a fan favorite for playing his fire-breathing guitar from the back of a war rig while giving precisely zero fucks about the life and death battle taking place around him between Immortan Joe's army and Mad Max's crew.
The entire behind-the-scenes making of Mad Max: Fury Road reads like a war journal, with Miller's singular vision often at odds with what the cast and crew thought was possible. Filming in the desert for weeks on end, shooting impossible stunts for real instead of relying on CGI, and the miscommunication that plagued different factions of the production team made the project for many of the members the most difficult job they had ever done.
However, George Miller proved his mettle by bringing together all the wildly discordant moving parts to create a film that has since been called by many critics the greatest action film of the past few decades. The characters of the movie also became iconic favorites, with Imperator Furiosa in particular, played by Charlize Theron, being considered the new gold standard in the kickass female protagonist category.
A sequel to the movie featuring the return of Max Rockatansky is already being planned, and Miller is working on a prequel film for Furious which will explore her younger days. Let's hope we get to see the likes of the Doof Warrior onscreen in one of those films again, playing his ominously badass tune as the war rigs go hunting. These quotes originated at New York Times.