Furiosa star Tom Burke thinks Praetorian Jack should get his own Mad Max Saga

Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth and Tom Burke in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Though many of the distinctive faces in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga will be familiar to anyone who saw 2015 action masterpiece Mad Max: Fury Road, one that definitely won’t be is that of Praetorian Jack.

As played by British actor Tom Burke, who adopts an impressively convincing Antipodean accent for the role, Jack is the Immortan Joe’s main War Rig driver, and an ally to Furiosa in her quest for vengeance against Chris Hemsworth’s despotic warlord Dementus. Unlike Furiosa, Jack’s past is kept a mystery on screen. But Burke – at the behest of director George Miller – filled out the details of Jack’s journey through the Wasteland up to the point we meet him in the film, imagining how exactly he became such an important figure in Joe’s forces.

"It was filling in the journey of how he and his family got to the Citadel in the first place, because there was a connection with the parents and Immortan Joe; and what their expectations of that place would be, and what it was in reality, and who else was with them on the journey," Burke explains when we meet in London, ahead of the film’s UK premiere. "That was, in a way, the most detailed bit of it. And then there was a realization, once they were there, of where they were, and how things might have got incrementally worse once they were there. And what Joe’s journey was in that."

“And then at what point does it just become another day and another day [for Jack]?” Burke continues to the Inside Total Film podcast and GamesRadar+. "It was this feeling of: he likes being on the road, both because it’s reminiscent of that time early on before they got there – that was a big chunk of his life, fraught with peril – and there’s a strange nostalgia for that. So he quite enjoys that triangle [driving between the Citadel, Gas Town and the Bullet Farm]. That’s better for him than being stuck in that rather strange rock!”

Despite existing in a Wasteland full of outrageously larger-than-life figures, Jack is a rare down-to-earth presence for the series: stoic, empathetic and highly capable. It’s these qualities that have kept him alive, according to Burke. "You’re looking at somebody who’s had to keep his head down, and who’s had to be kind of small in the world they’re in, and discrete, to get on with it. And that’s why meeting [Furiosa], and feeling that connection, is such a momentous thing."

Famously, Furiosa emerged from Miller and co-writer Nico Lathouris’ work in fleshing out the character’s backstory while developing Fury Road. Could the Praetorian Jack get the Mad Max Saga treatment as well one day? "I’m up for it," Burke says with a smile.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga will be released in cinemas across the UK and Ireland, and in US theaters, from May 24. Listen to our full interview with Miller on the Inside Total Film podcast, out later this week, where he also teases a potential return for Furiosa on screen.

For more, check out our guide to this year's most exciting upcoming movie release dates to fill out your watchlist. 

Jordan Farley
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the features section of every issue where you can read exclusive, in-depth interviews and see first-look images from the biggest films. I was previously the News Editor at sci-fi, fantasy and horror movie bible SFX. You'll find my name on news, reviews, and features covering every type of movie, from the latest French arthouse release to the biggest Hollywood blockbuster. My work has also featured in Official PlayStation Magazine and Edge.