Mad Max – George Miller’s post-apocalyptic road derby series – is among the seasoned movie franchises being revived in 2015, with Mad Max: Fury Road, and the trailers for the film (armed to the teeth with vehicular carnage and mayhem) have done their part to stir up excitement for Max Rockatansky’s return to the big screen, after a thirty year break since the character’s last appearance in Miller’s 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome – with Tom Hardy now handling the lead role (which previously belonged to Mel Gibson).
Fury Road has been described by Miller (back as director and co-writer) as, in essence, a two hour-long chase movie, featuring Hardy as “Mad” Max and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa: emotionally-wounded, yet mentally and physically hardened people attempting to survive in a futuristic, resource-depleted, wasteland where constantly having to fight crazed savages is a way of life. As Miller has put it, “In this crucible of very intense action, the characters are revealed.”
Miller and his collaborators have had to climb quite the mountain, in order to get Fury Road completed and ready to see the light of day at last. In fact, once upon a time, the late Heath Ledger was eyed for the eponymous role in Fury Road, as Miller discussed with Empire for its 2015 preview. Hardy’s take on the character is the one that will ultimately wind up on the big screen; and for the time being, there’s little reason to doubt it will prove to be another fine addition to his growing body of strong performances (see: Bronson, The Dark Knight Rises, Locke, etc.).
Check out Empire‘s new Fury Road-themed magazine covers, featuring Hardy as Mr. Rockatansky:
Hardy and Theron’s characters brawl with one another before uniting against their common enemies – including a deranged warlord named Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who also costarred in the original Mad Max in 1979) – in Fury Road, as Miller talked about with EW for its own 2015 preview. Based on what we’ve seen of the new Mad Max movie, it’s easy to believe their fight will amount to “a question of which one of them is going to survive,” as the filmmaker described it.
Miller also offered EW his thoughts about the casting of the Oscar-winner Theron as Furiosa:
“[One day during filming] Charlize was driving the war rig back to base camp, and I was sitting in the cabin behind her. I remember thinking, ‘She is the Imperator, and if this was a real wasteland and we were at war, I’d be really happy she’s on our side.'”
The Fury Road cast also includes Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as Nux, one of Immortan Joe’s many unhinged followers. Rounding out the movie’s supporting cast are Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Zoë Kravitz (Divergent), Riley Keough (Jack & Diane), Nathan Jones (Conan the Barbarian), and Josh Helman (Jack Reacher), among others.
Mad Max: Fury Road opens in U.S. theaters on May 15th, 2015.