A divisive Mad Max meme is stoking confusion following the Capitol riots in Washington DC on Wednesday (6 January).
The meme, which circulated around social media at the start of the new year, shows Mel Gibson’s character from George Miller’s original Mad Max film alongside the words: “Not to alarm anybody but Mad Max took place in 2021.”
As footage of costumed Trump supporters storming the Capitol emerged earlier this week, many couldn’t help but compare the visuals to a scene from Miller’s post-apocalyptic franchise.
“Mad Max remake f***ing sucks,” one person wrote, with another calling the scenes “some Mad Max s***.”
Many, including podcaster Joe Rogan, continued to share the meme in the wake of the riots – however, fans of the film waded in to alert everyone that the claim the 1979 film was set in 2021 is not correct.
The Mad Max franchise is set in a world reduced to dust after oil depletion and, while Miller and the original film’s screenwriter, James McCausland, have said there is no concrete timeline, the film does mention it’s set “a few years from now”.
As the film was released in 1979, it’s commonly assumed that events take place sometime in the mid-1980s. This is corroborated by the script for the 1985 sequel Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, which says it’s set in 2005 – 15 years after Mad Max: The Road Warrior (1981).