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How did comic book artist Brendan McCarthy end up writing Mad Max: Fury Road?


When it comes to career progressions, they don't get more exciting than that of comic book supremo Brendan McCarthy.

The London-based artist, who has worked extensively for the likes of Judge Dredd creators 2000 AD and also Marvel, has become the writer of the latest Mad Max movie. Released in May, Mad Max: Fury Road is the first film in the post-apocalyptic Australian franchise for 30 years, and sees Britain's Tom Hardy step into the leather gear previously inhabited by Mel Gibson.

So how did McCarthy land the gig? In an interview with BBC News, he explains that it all stemmed from a love of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, widely regarded as the best in the series.

"As a young man, I was completely blown away by Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior," he says. "I was 20 or so at the time and was in Australia after travelling around for a while. Leaving the cinema after seeing it the first time I was in a semi-religious state. The film was a magnificent punk masterpiece."

After seeing the film, McCarthy teamed up with writer Pete Milligan to create the comic strip Freakwave, itself heavily influenced by the punk stylings of the Mad Max universe.

"It was Mad Max goes surfing," McCarthy recalls. "Over the years after seeing Mad Max 2 I used to write to George Miller, asking him about the films. I met Road Warrior's producer, the late Byron Kennedy, but it was 15 years after that memorable night in Australia before I met George."

That fateful meeting set him on the path to writing Fury Road, although it's taken more than a decade for the film to reach the big screen. Not only did original franchise veteran Gibson drop out, the film also had to move location to Africa's Namib Desert due to Aussie weather conditions. 

In-keeping with his background, McCarthy supplied director George Miller with thousands of drawings, and he says the end results will be in-keeping with past movies in the series. "It is basically a huge chase movie," says McCarthy. "George has spoken of it in essence, being 'figures in motion in a landscape'... What we have been trying to do is give a new generation its own Mad Max."

Fingers crossed he'll succeed and this long-running franchise will get a fresh injection of nitro. Mad Max: Fury Road is released on 15th May.