Tom Hardy Gives Big Updates on George Miller's Mad Max 4
by Alex Billington
June 26, 2010
Earlier today I joined with a few other movie websites (Collider, Cinematical, ComingSoon) for small group interview with British actor Tom Hardy, probably best known for his performance in Bronson, but we were talking to him about Christopher Nolan's Inception. During the interview, we talked with Hardy about Mad Max 4, or Mad Max: Fury Road as it's called, as he was rumored to be cast as the new Mad Max last year. Unlike actress Teresa Palmer, who confirmed recently that she won't be in this Mad Max, Hardy confirmed that he is involved and also spoke at length with us about his plans for it, but without revealing too much.
Hardy covers a lot of ground regarding Mad Max, so let's dive in at the top when he starts talking about it.
"I'm rather, obviously, limited to what I can say. These things are always binded to secrecy and I think that's a good thing for the film anyway. I'm not allowed to give away anything. Without incriminating myself in any way, it's a very big film. To step into the shoes of Mel Gibson. George [Miller] and Mel created the franchise Mad Max, which started off as an independent which then blew up. It took off. It became the Mad Max as we know it with t-shirts and DVDs…
There were many, many actors that would probably be right for Mad Max and there's plenty out there who could probably do an exceptional job to portray him. It's especially a challenge to step in the shoes of such an iconic character. So obviously I'm aware that I'm going to take a certain level of casualties when I go in and play him. If I concentrate on that, then it's obviously not going to be the best thing for the project."
Hardy then goes on to talk a bit about what we can expect and what this sequel is going to be like. Although we've heard that it's based on an older script director George Miller wrote years ago when he was originally planning another sequel, it sounds like this is almost a reboot of the series with a new actor in the role of Mad Max revisiting the world from the second movie (although that's still unconfirmed). Hardy continues:
"It's a relaunch and revisit to the world, an entire restructuring. That's not to say that it's not picking up or leaving off from the Mad Max you know already, but it's a nice re-take on the entire world using the same character, depositing him in the same world, but bringing him up to date by 30 years. Obviously Mel would've been perfect for it but, for some reason, he's not doing it and I am. You can expect the same amount of grit and rawness and authenticity [to my] performance, I hope to deliver. But that's really the crux of me and George to deliver that and all the other actors as the other characters.
But also we have the new world afforded to filmmakers today with all the opportunities and facilities and technical abilities. I think the boys that did Lord of the Rings are involved and all that kind of stuff as well. CGI is not going to be -- I think it's going to be much more like Chris [Nolan], how he deals with action - these things are going to be really there. Big rigs, big explosions, big car crashes, big violence, you know. It's going to actually happen as opposed to doing a 2D turned to 3D screen. It's going to be an adventure, let's put it that way. We're shooting for a year…"
It's not entirely a year, as Hardy clarifies with us a bit later. And of course, that's not all he had to say, as we talked with him a bit further about his training and preparation, when he expects it to start shooting (which seems like it will happening by the end of the year) and a bit more about the look his Mad Max will have.
"I can't say when I'm going to be in front of the cameras. I'm actually headed tonight to Australia to start some stunt-training. I'm training now. Even though I'm smoking. I'm meant to drop 30 pounds, so smoking and one meal a day is my training at the moment. I'm going to start fighting soon, the harder stuff, when we get close to the line…
[We're] shooting for probably nine months. The training period is allocated as two months, technically. We don't know whether it's going to push a little bit or come up a little bit, we're in sort of a gray area. There's various anomalies and shifting papers. All kinds of people's schedules, from what I'm aware, need to be tied down. The movie is absolutely healthy. So it is going, it's just a question of, not if, [but] when precisely."
So there you go Mad Max fans, Mad Max: Fury Road is definitely happening and it sounds like it may even start shooting this year. As for if they're returning to the same dusty locations in Australia, Hardy says: "It's absolutely the same spot." Miller said last year they'd shoot in New South Wales, so they are returning. And as for dropping that 30 pounds, he's already dropped it (he looked much leaner than normal). And as for what he'll look like, well you just gotta hear his answer to this, it's pretty wild (pun definitely intended).
"Imagine a hungry wolf. Or like when you put a cat in the bath. You grab a cat by the throat and stuff it under the fucking water. You know what it looks like? That's what I'm going to look like. But like a puma. Very hungry and very dangerous. It's imperative. This is the kind of guy who's not well. So I have to create that reality."
Having seen Hardy in a lot of roles and hearing his answers to all of these questions, he's definitely going to be a badass new Mad Max and I can't wait to see this come together. It was revealed last year that Mad Max: Fury Road has a budget of $100 million, which is a lot for a reboot of a franchise that hasn't been around since 1985 (when Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was released). It definitely sounds like they're going all out for this ("big rigs, big explosions, big car crashes, big violence") and I'm happy to see that, as it needs to be a production of that scale to actually live up to the past films. For now, it sounds like they're trying to get things in order to start shooting by the end of the year, so we'll continue to keep you updated on the latest!