With reporting by Chris Kim.
When people hear the name "Mad Max," they mostly tend to think of Mel Gibson covered in dirt and fighting a bunch of terrifying road warriors in the desert.
But the fourth movie in the franchise, "Mad Max: Fury Road," goes in a different, more refreshing direction. Mad is still there (played by Tom Hardy), along with the freaky wasteland warriors (this time it's "Immortan Joe" and his gang of "War Boys"). However, the crux of the story centers around not them, but a group of women trying to survive in this post-apocalyptic world together, and escape their lives as sex slaves.
Unfortunately, not everyone is happy about this shift in the "Mad Max" universe. To some commenters on the Internet, the film's focus on what they call "feminist propaganda" is detrimental to the gut-wrenching action that's considered the driving (pun intended) force behind the "Mad Max" franchise.
But all of that "propaganda," according to cast and crew of the film, was very purposeful on the part of director George Miller, the original creator of the franchise:
"One of the first things George ever said to us is that this film is about gender equality," Rosie Huntington-Whitely (Splendid) told MTV News at a recent press junket for the film. "And it's about women really finding themselves and their power."
"This idea that a woman couldn't be a warrior and survive on that reptilian brain the same way a man can? I think George was interested in covering and kind of figuring that out thematically through the story," Charlize Theron (Imperator Furiosa) agreed.
One thing's for sure -- judging from what we've seen of the movie so far, these women are definitely warriors. No doubt about it.
Mad Max: Fury Road" hits theaters on May 15.