Mad Max: Fury Road is one of, if not the absolute best action films of the decade. Directed by George Miller — who at the age of 70 showed filmmakers half his age who’s boss — Mad Max: Fury Road contained some of the most jaw-dropping action sequences ever put to screen. Best part is, Miller accomplished most of it using practical effects. The modern-day classic is also filled to the brim with interesting characters, from Charlize Theron’s Furiosa to Hugh Keays-Byrne’s villainous Immortan Joe. However, the character who caught everybody by surprise, the character that became iconic right from the very moment he made an appearance is the Doof Warrior. I am of course referring to the hype-guy/maniac who rode on a giant truck filled with amplifiers while shredding an electric guitar cum flamethrower. The Doof Warrior didn’t have much to do in the film. He didn’t have a line of dialogue no an arc. Yet, many, myself included, would argue that he’s probably one of the coolest and most unique characters to ever grace the big screen.
But, what if I told you that the Doof Warrior was almost cut from the film. A New York Times reporter, Kyle Buchanan recently shared on Twitter that Warner Bros. initially wanted Miller and his team to cut the Doof Warrior from Mad Max: Fury Road.
“Here’s something alarming: WB wanted the Doof Warrior cut from FURY ROAD! ‘The Doof Warrior tested really badly at first,’ Miller told me. ‘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.’ Once the Junkie XL score was added to the cut, Miller’s instincts proved correct: “He became one of the most popular characters in the film.”
I’m not one who’s against test screenings and studio executives giving notes to directors. Notes can ensure that a film is tight and not overly self-indulgent. But in this case, I’m glad George Miller stood his ground and fought for the weird ancillary character.