Recasting the iconic character portrayed by Mel Gibson has been a point of contention among fans, and if his comments are any indication – it’s not a responsibility that Hardy is taking lightly:
“There were many, many actors that would probably be right for Mad Max and there’s many out there who could probably do an exceptional job to portray him. It’s especially a challenge to step in the shoes of such an iconic character. I’m aware that I’m going to take a certain number of casualties when I go in and play him.”
While the plot of the film has been kept under wraps, at one point the story supposedly took place a short time after the events of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, which would have made Gibson too old to believably play the character. Still, after nearly three decades in development hell and after a couple of false starts, there’s no telling how many changes the project has weathered (I seem to remember Joaquin Phoenix playing Gibson’s sidekick at one point), and ever since 2006, director George Miller has been stating his intentions to make Mad Max 4 with a new lead actor.
While Hardy’s casting may have raised an eyebrow or two, he certainly sounds undaunted and passionate about his approach to the character:
“Imagine a hungry wolf. Or like when you put a cat in the bath. You grab a cat by the throat and stuff it under the fucking water. You know what it looks like? That’s what I’m going to look like. But like a puma. Very hungry at very dangerous. It’s imperative. This is the kind of guy who’s not well. So I have to create that reality.”
He also clarifies that this is definitely not a reboot and reveals where Mad Max 4 stands in relation to the other films in the franchise:
“We have to take it differently as George is taking it. It’s a relaunch and revisit to the world. An entire restructuring. That’s not to say that it’s not picking up or leaving off from the Mad Max you know already, but it’s a nice re-take on the entire world using the same character, depositing him in the same world but bringing him up to date by 30 years.”
Hardy certainly talks a good game, and while I know he has yet to win over some of the more skeptical fans, his performance in Bronson has me confident that he’s capable of honoring Gibson’s take on the character, while simultaneously doing something completely unique with it. Let’s be honest, this is far from the worst version of Mad Max 4 we could be getting (remember when it was going to be animated?).
After so many years of hearing about the film’s lack of progress, it’s at least reassuring to know that at this point it’s back on track. Hardy himself maintains that it’s now a matter of when, not if. Check out the rest of the interview for more details on Mad Max4 including Hardy’s training regimen and a discussion about CGI vs practical effects.
“I’m not [in it], actually… That’s just a rumor that has been on the internet.”
Her involvement was first revealed by her Sorcerer’s co-star Jay Baruchel and according to /Film was mentioned again by that film’s director, Jon Turteltaub (who claimed that Palmer had even discussed the costume she’d be wearing in the film with him). Perhaps there’s more to the story than Palmer is letting on, or maybe her involvement was never actually official. Either way, it looks like Mad Max 4 has a casting vacancy to fill.
[Update: She is officially cast and was playing coy]
Do you still have reservations about Tom Hardy in Mad Max 4 or are you warming up to the idea? What do you think of Teresa Palmer’s claim that she was never involved with the film?