[Update: George Miller is talking about the reason for the delay.]

Things are not looking good for Mad Max: Fury Road. George Miller’s fourth Mad Max adventure has hit another road block – meaning that the film won’t start filming until 2012, at the earliest.

It’s the second delay for the film (which is scheduled for back-to-back shooting with a sequel, Furiosa) in recent months and there are reports that the reboot might even be scrapped – as the price of the Australian dollar rises.

The action adventure film, which is currently set to star Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, was postponed in July because an unexpected amount of rain left proposed shooting locations too green for George Miller’s vision of a post apocalyptic world. Pre-production has already started on the film with millions spent – some rumors even state that some stunt work has already been filmed.

However, the crew have now been told that filming will not begin until February 2012.

The latest delay doesn’t bode well for Mad Max: Fury Road, which was originally set to shoot almost a decade ago – with original star Mel Gibson. Back then, troubles in the Middle East led to the film getting canned, and although no reason is given for this latest delay, the hopes of seeing Mad Max: Fury Road are starting to look bleak once again – as shooting has now been pushed-back more than a year.

This news is deja vu for Miller, who was well into pre-production on Justice League when the plugged was pulled due to budgetary reasons. It remains to be seen if Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron will even be in the film when (and if) Max returns to the screen. Thanks to Inception, Hardy’s star is on the rise, and Theron is constantly busy, thanks to her Monster Oscar win – so if, one year from now, Miller does get Mad Max on the road again – it might be with an entirely different cast.

The news comes as Mad Max’s studio, Warner Bros., is currently locked in a very public dispute with the Australian actors union over casting for The Hobbit. Any conspiracy theorist will likely come to the conclusion that the studio has delayed plans to shoot Mad Max in Australia as a way of getting back at the union as a result of their boycott of Peter Jackson’s film. Though this is purely speculation. The incident may even lead to a European The Hobbit shoot – not New Zealand where The Lord of The Rings trilogy was filmed.

UPDATE: Apparently weather conditions (not money) are to blame for the latest delay with Fury Road. As George Miller told the Sydney Morning Herald:

”Unfortunately for Mad Max, what was wasteland is now this wonderful flower garden…We’ve looked at every single nook and cranny in Australia for these specific locations…That’s why Broken Hill has become such a base for outback films: you’ve got the infrastructure of the city itself and the treeless plains beyond…Obviously if we go to Namibia or Morocco or Chile it’s a different kettle of fish, but we want to shoot it here…Governments are working incredibly hard to bring these productions in…They’re so sought after around the world because they infuse a massive amount of foreign cash into the economy and create a lot of jobs…Everyone’s competing for that and right now it’s no more expensive to shoot in America than it is in Australia.”

As a result of the delay, long time Mad Max fans might see a grain of hope that Mel Gibson could return to his iconic role of Max. The actor has had many well-publicized personal problems in recent years and a return to Mad Max would probably make more sense than the rumored Lethal Weapon 5 or Maverick 2. It remains to be seen if Gibson would even be interested, or if Miller would retool the script for an older (and madder?) Max – but it might be the only way of getting Max back into his Interceptor for another adventure filled with carnage and mayhem. It looks like we might need another hero after all.

Keep Reading Screen Rant for all developments on Mad Max: Fury Road.

Sources: Movie Hole & The Australian

Update Source: Sydney Morning Herald via The Playlist