When and Where Does Furiosa Take Place? Timeline, Explained

George Miller’s post-apocalyptic action filmFuriosa: A Mad Max Saga’ is the fifth installment in his globally renowned ‘Mad Max’ film series. The movie, which unfolds as the origin tale of Imperator Furiosa, is placed in a highly intricate timeline with regard to the other action dramas in the franchise. The timeline of the films is altered significantly in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ and since ‘Furiosa’ is a prequel to the 2015 movie, it follows the altered setting as well. Despite the irregularities in the chronology, ‘Furiosa’ is a quintessential ‘Mad Max’ saga set in a region that is immensely close to Miller’s personal life! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Furiosa Takes Place Between 2030s and 2050s

One thing George Miller was least concerned about while developing ‘Mad Max’ films was the timeline of the movies. Still, the first three action dramas in the franchise give enough hints about when they take place. ‘Mad Max,’ the first movie in the film series that was released in 1979, takes place “a few years from now,” with graffiti, dated December 1984, placing the narrative around 1985. Terry Hayes, who wrote ‘Mad Max 2,’ made it clear that the second installment in the franchise is set three years after the events in the first film, which indicates that the first sequel takes place around 1988.

The sequel was followed by ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome’ in 1985, with the narrative beginning fifteen years after the events of the second movie, taking the plot to 2003. There was a wait of three decades before ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ came out as the fourth movie in the franchise. The film more or less invalidates the chronology of the first three films by following a young Max decades after the events in ‘Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.’ The film, seemingly set around the 2050s, even made ardent admirers of the franchise wonder whether Tom Hardy’s Max is different from Mel Gibson’s character in the first three films because of his young age.

As far as Miller was concerned, the filmmaker didn’t care about the chronology at all. “I can’t even work out the chronology of the first, second, and third, let alone the fourth 30 years later,” he said in an interview about ‘Fury Road.’ At the same time, he went on to ask the viewers to approach the movie as a standalone episode in Max’s life. “All the films have no strict chronology. It’s probably after ‘Thunderdome,’ but it’s an episode in the life of Max and this world. It’s basically an episode, and it’s us revisiting that world. I never wrote the story, any of the stories, with a chronological connection,” Miller said in a press conference.

One thing Miller did admit is that ‘Furiosa’ follows the titular character’s life from the age of ten to twenty-six. The film also ends right before the events in ‘Fury Road,’ as Furiosa’s efforts to save Immortan Joe’s wives make it clear. If that’s the case, it is safe to say that the sixteen years in the movie can be placed somewhere between the 2030s and 2050s.

Furiosa and the Australian Wasteland

Not all the ‘Mad Max’ films are open about its geographical setting. However, ‘Furiosa’ gives a hint that the movie is set in the Australian wasteland after an apocalypse. By taking the events in the other movies in the franchise into account, we can say that the domestic boundaries that separated Australia into different regions don’t exist anymore. The country is one big piece of land in the dried-up Pacific Ocean that is now known as The Great White. The setting can be traced back to George Miller’s childhood in the rural town of Chinchilla in the state of Queensland, Australia.

“[…] there’s no question that ‘Mad Max’ (1979) was influenced by my childhood in rural Queensland which… Chinchilla itself is west of the Darling Downs. Completely flat roads. Loamy soil. Heat haze. Burnt land. And with a very intense car culture,” Miller said about the origin of the setting, as per the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. “By the time we were out of our teens, several of our peers had already been killed or badly injured in car accidents. […] And it wasn’t until I really ended up being a doctor in [the] emergency [department] and seeing the kind of carnage as a result of car accidents or ‘bike accidents that it kind of got into me,” he added.

Miller originally conceived ‘Mad Max’ as a contemporary tale set in Melbourne, Victoria, but was forced to rely on a dystopian setting because of financial and creative reasons. He realized that he didn’t have enough money to create a film set in real time and that a dystopian setting would make more sense, considering the outrageous events in the narrative. When it comes to ‘Furiosa,’ all the important locales must be familiar to the ardent admirers of the franchise. The Citadel is the kingdom of Immortan Joe, which is featured extensively in ‘Fury Road.’ The Green Place and Gas Town can also be found in ‘Fury Road.’

The ‘Mad Max’ films never reveal where exactly in Australia The Citadel and other places are located. The secrecy must be intentional since the movies narrate sagas in which modern civilizations don’t exist to draw boundaries and limit their reigns to closed regions. Presenting Australia as a singular barren land makes the setting alarmingly dystopian, only to captivate the viewers.

Read More: Where Was Furiosa A Mad Max Saga Filmed?