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The more we see from Mad Max: Fury Road, the more insane and weird and incredible it looks. We haven’t set eyes on the film yet, and won’t for more than a month, but we’re practically foaming at the mouth for this one. And if you’re as excited as we are, there’s good news, since we will likely see many more Mad Max movies.
Tom Hardy takes over the role of post-apocalyptic motor vehicle badass Max Rockatansky, a part that helped launch Mel Gibson to international stardom. Talking to Esquire, he revealed that he is contracted for another three Mad Max movies. This is, of course, all based on the assumption that Fury Road makes enough money for this to be viable, and Hardy says:
Everything’s based on figures and how things are perceived. Inevitably it’s a business.
The fact that there are more installments envisioned for the future doesn’t come as too much of a shock. We live a world where studios hope every movie they make turns into a franchise. Fury Road itself is a reworking of a family of films that has lain dormant since Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. Originally, it was envisioned as multiple movies that would shoot back-to-back, but catastrophic weather problems crushed that pipe dream.
Last summer, director George Miller talked about Fury Road, which actually wrapped up principal photography in December 2012 and went back for reshoots in the fall of 2013, and discussed the possibility of more movies. In addition to this one, he said there is a screenplay for a second film, and rough novelization of a third story. Even as far back as 2011, he said he had written a whole new trilogy, so the idea of three more movies doesn’t sound too outlandish.
Hardy’s voiceover may figure prominently in the trailers for Fury Road, but don’t expect to hear too much from him during the movie. He estimates that he has between four and 20 lines, total, which certainly supports the idea that this resembles a grim, sparse spaghetti western on wheels. Then again, with all of the onscreen madness, like a flame-throwing guitar and dudes pole vaulting between fast-moving vehicles, who needs talking?
Talking about the difficult, troubled production, Hardy said:
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 fucking Slipknot.
From what we’ve seen, this mayhem carries over into the movie. Maybe they used their hardships on set as a kind of spiritual inspiration for filmic chaos. And just to drive the point home, Hardy, who has seen the finished product, says it is "fucking unbelievable."
Mad Max: Fury Road opens everywhere May 15 and stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne (Toecutter from the original Mad Max!), Zoe Kravitz, Nathan Jones, and lots of post-apocalyptic battle wagons. If nothing else, this will be a spectacle to behold. Also, here’s hoping Cirque du Soleil’s Slipknot show isn’t too far behind.