Every recent bit of news regarding Mad Max: Fury Road has been fantastic. Despite concerns that the next Mad Max installment would be retrofitted with 3D, we later discovered the film would actually be filmed using advanced 3D tech. Additionally, despite earlier concerns about casting, we've seen Miller actually put together a decent group of talent.
Unfortunately, the news today is less fantastic - production on Mad Max: Fury Road has stalled.
While the news is disconcerting, it may give Hardy a little more time to get in peak physical form for the role. It's not like the man is out of shape, but Mad Max will call for a different kind of hero - a man physically affected by an apocalypse, but strong enough to defend himself at any cost.
Hardy's reveal of the production delay comes without any explanation, though the recent Gibson controversy can't help - but it doesn't seem to be anything major. Basically, no Hobbit-like issues.
"[We've] stopped. They pushed it back a little bit so I'm not up against it at the moment, so I've lost some weight, that's it."
Normally, I scoff at any attempt to continue a franchise with a replacement leading actor, but Hardy has proven himself worthy of any role Hollywood offers up. Are you listening Bond casting directors?
Hardy's dedication to beefing up for his unbelievable performance in Bronson proves he has what it takes to transform for a role. He is one of the best chameleons in film today and could someday challenge Christian Bale in the weight-shifting actor category.
Hardy's focus and determination to create a character, instead of human scenery, is what will elevate Mad Max: Fury Road. The actor and his director, George Miller, have been working on a way to establish a human story within the action-filled movie. Then again, shooting in 3D doesn't suggest high drama.
Somehow, even in the midst of this disappointing news, Hardy managed to stay positive and build anticipation for Fury Road. In response to a query about his co-star Charlize Theron, Hardy gushed about her "incredible" nature.
If there is one movie franchise I wish took the "James Bond route" and churned out dozens of sequels, Mad Max would be it. The character is rich and exciting. His motivation is one that could generate drama over the course of multiple films - and the apocalyptic world George Miller created is one I'd like to explore again and again.
George Miller's involvement is a great place for the fourth installment to start, but if they want a successful continuation of the franchise, Tom Hardy will definitely have to bring his limitless charisma and star quality to the film.
Header image uses art from an original Mad Max release poster for the Alamo Drafthouse, designed by Billy Perkins which can be found here.