Already famed for its decades in development, George Miller's post-apocalyptic car chase thriller Mad Max: Fury Road will be screeching into theaters this summer - with Tom Hardy taking over the wheel as the film's title character. Hardy is joined by Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, a woman on a dangerous mission to lead a group of former prisoners across the desert and back to her childhood homeland.
The question of where Mad Max: Fury Road fits into the Mad Max timeline and whether it's technically a sequel, a reboot or a re-imagining has come under more scrutiny than it's probably worth. All you really need to know is that it's set in the same dry and dangerous wasteland as the previous films, takes place some time after the events depicted in the original Mad Max, and was made in the traditional spirit of violent car crashes, huge explosions, and crazy costumes/make-up.
The latest trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road is a love letter to the movies that came before it, with most of the footage pieced together from the three previous movies: Mad Max, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Some of the international TV spots for Mad Max: Fury Road have included lines from Max referring to himself as "The Road Warrior", and there's a distinct sense that Fury Road will be stylistically closest to Miller's second entry in the series (albeit, made on a much larger budget).
There will be no cameo by original Mad Max actor Mel Gibson in Mad Max: Fury Road, but actor Hugh Keays-Byrne will be returning to play the new villain, Immortan Joe, 36 years after he first appeared as Toecutter in Mad Max. As the warlord of an army of mad bandits, Immortan Joe engages in a sprawling chase across the desert in an effort to retrieve the precious "possessions" that Furiosa has stolen from him.
Hardy might be new to the role of Max Rockatansky, but if the film performs well in theaters he could end up starring in the series for even longer than Gibson. The actor recently revealed that his contract has him signed on to appear in three sequels - almost too much Max to handle.
Mad Max: Fury Road opens in theaters on May 15th, 2015.
Source: Warner Bros.