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Furiosa has re-cast Immortan Joe - but who is behind the gear? We assemble the suspects

Do not, my friends, become addicted to water.

Immortan Joe in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Fans have been trying to guess who's behind Immortan Joe's mask in the first Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga trailer even since it dropped, but the answer isn't easy to find. Here's what we think.

The entire Furiosa cast and roster of characters are a bit of a mystery besides the two leads, Anya Taylor-Joy (Furiosa) and Chris Hemsworth (Dementus), and returning actors from 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road like Nathan Jones (Rictus Erectus) and Angus Sampson (The Organic Mechanic). But at the center of all fan speculation around George Miller's long-anticipated prequel is Immortan Joe, the main villain of the 2015 movie. In this entry, based on the teaser trailer and what we've learned from interviews, Joe isn't the big boss yet, so we're potentially looking at an arc for the villain, who seems to be at odds with Hemsworth's Dementus. But neither the footage we've seen of him nor the chatter surrounding the movie have answered who's behind the iconic mask.

Who played Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road?

Immortan Joe was played in Mad Max: Fury Road by Hugh Keays-Byrne, who sadly passed away in December 1, 2020. Known as the first-ever Mad Max villain, Toecutter, in the 1979 movie, he returned to the franchise to work with George Miller and play an entirely different bad guy.

As much as everyone loved his menacing presence in Fury Road, we doubt he'd have returned to play a younger Joe in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, as the story takes place 15 years before the Max and Furiosa-led movie and Joe doesn't look as deteriorated in the prequel. While this hasn't been really confirmed by Miller, it feels like the plan was always to have someone younger step into the role.

Who plays Immortan Joe in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga?

It's hard to discern who's wearing the mask and cool outfit in the brief Furiosa trailer we've received, but fans speculated for a while that maybe Tom Burke (The Wonder), arguably the most noticeable name in the cast after Taylor-Joy and Hemsworth, could be playing Immortan Joe. There are two arguments against that idea though. First, Tom Burke came in to replace Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Furiosa. Second, he might be the mysterious man embracing the titular character in this shot of the trailer:

Furiosa and an unknown character in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

With Burke likely playing this potential love interest or ally of Furiosa, we can write him out. Looking at the enigmatic cast, however, we can spot one cast member that looks imposing enough and has worked with Miller before in Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022): Lachy Hulme.

Lachy Hulme in Preacher
Image credit: AMC

The actor, known for his role as Frankie Toscani in the Preacher series (pictured above), certainly resembles what little we can see of Immortan Joe's face and eyes in the trailer. Moreover, he's 6'3" tall, roughly the same height as Hugh Keays-Byrne, who was 6'2" in his prime. One argument against this theory is that leaked set pictures suggest he's playing a secondary character who belongs to Dementus' group, but it wouldn't be the first time an actor had an extra masked role in a movie. Hulme honestly looks like a perfect fit for the role, but we won't really know for sure until the movie nears release, or maybe we'll just have to wait for the credits to roll when we watch it in cinemas.

Get a road map for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga with Popverse. From a look at Furiosa's new ride to an itinerary on how (and where) to watch all the Mad Max movies in chronological or release order.

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Fran Ruiz