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Why the heck did someone slap Mad Max's name onto the title of the Furiosa movie?

We can't decide if it a clever way to highlight the themes of the film or just old fashioned Hollywood sexism?

Furiosa trailer screenshot
Image credit: Warner Bros.

The whole world is collectively picking their jaw up off the floor after seeing the first trailer for Furiosa, but there is one detail we can’t stop thinking about. It isn’t any of the stunning visuals or the impeccable style of George Miller's vision for the apocalypse. No, we can’t get over how someone – either Miller himself or a board room filled with Warner Bros. executives – made the decision to slap 'A Mad Max Saga' at the end of the title for seemingly no reason.

On the surface, it probably felt like a smart marketing move. It is an easy way to remind audiences that Furiosa is definitely connected to the Mad Max franchise without wasting a second of screentime on it, but it actively undermines the character’s place in the story and changes people’s expectations for the film. We have no reason to believe that Max is even going to be in this film, so why the heck has he been shoehorned into the title?

There is an argument to be made that slapping 'A Mad Max Saga' onto the title only highlights the apparent theme of the film, which is the dangers of being a woman living in a man’s world. It won’t change the content of the movie, but it reframes it as being centered on a man’s story when this is a clearly female-led story. It tells us that this is still Max’s world, and – despite being nowhere to be found – he is merely permitting Furiosa to tell her story in it.

Admittedly, this is an incredibly generous interpretation of what was likely a marketing decision made by someone in a boardroom to ensure fans know this is a prequel to the popular Mad Max: Fury Road, with the (hopefully) unintended implication that Warner Bros. doesn’t think a female-led story will sell with audiences without reminding us of the men she meets along the way. Trust us, we’re excited about this movie because it is about Furiosa, not because we might see Max grumble his way across the screen. She was easily the best part of Fury Road, which was largely her story anyway with Max just along for the ride.

Let Furiosa have her own movie – she can handle that much.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is in theaters now - if you got confused (or haven't got there yet), we have a guide to all the big questions with that ending. Get more with articles on Furiosa's new ride, an itinerary on how (and where) to watch all the Mad Max movies in chronological or release order, and the Mad Max movies' entire timeline explained.

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