Director and producer George Miller pulled off a miracle when he completed the fourth installment in the Mad Max saga, Mad Max: Fury Road. After reacquiring the rights to the franchise in 1995, Miller began thinking about where the story could go next and assembling his team to make it happen. But it would be another 20 years—years filled with production setbacks and financial problems—before his vision would make it into theaters. Nerdist recently shared a collection of concept art from Australian storyboard artist and the film's principal vehicle designer Peter Pound. There are drawings of main characters, environments, and vehicles that date back to 1997, including early sketches of Imperator Furiosa that are very different from Charlize Theron's physical appearance in the film.
According to Pound's website, he contributed more than 950 storyboard frames to the project in the 1990s. Many of the drawings can be matched to shots in the film, but there are some notable differences. In Pound's concept art, Furiosa has what appears to be some kind of tribal tattoo (or carving) covering much of her face, piercings at her eyebrows, and one lone patch of long hair on one side of her shaved head. Her spiked metal armor is more closely related to the costume styles of the previous films, as opposed to the belted T-shirt and metal accessories that Theron wore.
In Pound's art, leather-clad Max Rockatansky is also closer to the Mel Gibson portrayal than Tom Hardy's version of the character in Fury Road. Other characters in Pound's concepts are less human than they appear in the 2015 film, but it's easy to see how the overall feel and events of the post-apocalyptic world from his drawings inspired the final product.