A Mad Max: Fury Road Character Was Nearly Cut After Testing Badly With Audiences

The Doof Warrior in Mad Max: Fury Road

There was a lot of craziness to take in during Mad Max: Fury Road, and that included its lineup of colorful characters, from Charlize Theron’s Furiosa to Nicholas Hoult’s Nux. And then there was The Doof Warrior, who didn’t have much screen time overall, but certainly caught the eye. You know the guy, he’s the blind member of Immortan Joe’s posse who plays a flame-spewing electric guitar while riding atop the speakers-covered, heavy duty truck known as the Doof Wagon. Whew, that’s a lot to take in!

It’s hard to imagine Mad Max: Fury Road without The Doof Warrior, played by singer iOTA, being present, but as it turns out, there was a time when it looked like he might have been cut from the movie. As director George Miller recalled:

The Doof Warrior tested really badly at first. We had temp music, and whenever the Doof Warrior played in the test screening, it was the same riff, so it got annoying.

So bad temp music almost resulted in us missing out of the glory that is The Doof Warrior; who, I should add, also wears the skin of his deceased mother’s face while he’s shredding some gnarly jams to boost the morale of Immortan Joe’s minions. Seriously, how could anyone want to have someone like that taken out of the narrative?

Fortunately for the Mad Max: Fury Road team, George Miller convinced the studio bigwigs that it was “too early” to even begin thinking of cutting out The Doof Warrior. That temporary stay of execution eventually transitioned into a permanent one, as Miller also mentioned during his interview with New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan that once composer Junkie XL’s score was thrown into Fury Road, then the mood towards Doof Warrior changed, as his tunes no longer sounded generic. This resulted in Doof Warrior becoming “one of the most popular characters in the film,” as Miller put it.

The Doof Warrior may have been a minor character in the grand scheme of things, but the fact that he’s become so beloved among Mad Max: Fury Road fans is an impressive feat. What’s arguably equally as impressive, if not more so, is that Doof Warrior’s guitar spewing fire wasn’t a CGI effect; that sucker really was designed to spit out flames, and serves as one of the many examples of how George Miller and his crew relied on practical effects.

While it looked like Doof Warrior might have died during the events of Mad Max: Fury Road, we haven’t necessarily seen the last of him. Back in 2017, George Miller expressed interest in bringing the character back. Considering the intricate backstory that’s already been created for Doof Warrior, it’d be a shame for his time on the big screen to be a one-and-done affair.

As things stand now, there are two Mad Max movies in the works: a direct sequel tentatively titled Mad Max: The Wasteland, and the Furiosa prequel. The latter looks like it’s going to happen sooner rather than later judging by the casting news that’s come out lately, and since the prequel would likely show how the younger Furiosa ended up serving Immortan Joe, it’s easy enough to envision Doof Warrior being part of the proceedings.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the Mad Max franchise, and keep track of the movies still set to hit theaters later this year with our 2020 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.