After several mindblowing trailers for Mad Max: Fury Road we’re ready for as much action-cranked mayhem as director George Miller can throw at us, and now an Esquire profile of Tom Hardy suggests the star has signed on for three more turns as Max Rockatansky. The more the madder.
“Everything’s based on figures and how things are perceived,” says Hardy of the role box office will take in deciding the fate of the next films in the series. “Inevitably it’s a business.”
Series creator Miller told fans at last year’s Comic-Con that, “In order to tell this story, we came up with two others. We’ve written the screenplay of one and the novelization of another, but it’s a very rough novel…We kept working on them while we were working on other things.”
It’s been a long and furious road for Hardy, who has been attached to play the iconic wasteland warrior since late-2009, although filming did not begin in Namibia until mid-2012. Once production was wheels down in the desert it was no picnic, plagued by technical problems, budget overruns, massive reshoots, personality problems between Hardy and Theron, and the inevitable accidents arising from the multitude of practical stunts Miller staged.
“Luckily nobody died,” says Hardy. “We were in the middle of nowhere, so far away from the studio system that [Warner Bros] can’t really see what’s going on, and just getting things to and from the set was a nightmare. We’d lose half a vehicle in sand and have to dig it out. It was just this unit in the middle of x-million square-kilometres of desert, and then this group of lunatics in leathers, like a really weird S&M party, or a Hell’s Angels convention. It was like Cirque du Soleil meets f**king Slipknot.”
The film itself has gone through many iterations, including a scrapped 2003 version starring Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr., an Akira-inspired animated film, and a duet consisting of Mad Max: Fury Road and Mad Max: Furiosa before the second film centering on Charlize Theron’s character was ditched in favor of the one-at-a-time approach.
So was it all worth it? Hardy himself has seen the finished product and calls it “f**king unbelievable,” which is a ringing endorsement if we’ve ever heard one.
Also starring Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Mad Max, Sleeping Beauty), Nathan Jones (Conan the Barbarian, Troy), Zoe Kravitz (Divergent, X-Men: First Class), Riley Keough (The Runaways, Magic Mike) and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Mad Max: Fury Road opens in 2D and 3D theaters on May 15, 2015.