By Edward Davis | The Playlist June 27, 2014 at 5:27PM
It's been a long, winding, dusty and difficult road for “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Warner Bros.' new version of the “Mad Max” trilogy which loses Mel Gibson as the star and instead adds Tom Hardy in the lead role of Max Rockatansky. Director George Miller told us way back in 2011 that the narrative falls somewhere between a remake and a redo, but still retains some of the chronology of the original. “It’s a rebooted Mad Max, but it’s a new interpretation,” he said.
Conceived as a new trilogy and franchise, the oft-delayed movie finally has a summer release 2015 date, three years after it started shooting. And while question marks have surrounded it for years, some first look images from Entertainment Weekly have impressed the blogosphere with some very bad-ass visuals of Hardy and co-lead Charlize Theron. Further details from the film have been revealed in the magazine. Here’s a few things we learned in brief and yes, in case you’re wondering or predicting, you will see footage at Comic-Con next month and a teaser-trailer is coming in the “near future.”
Most of the action was in camera, practical and without the use of CGI.
Miller says around 80% of the movie was shot using practical, non-CG stunts and that evidently added a ton of challenges when shooting in a hot, dry desert with brutal conditions. But Miller says he was trying to create, “not just a physical experience, but an intense emotional one.”
A synopsis has already been revealed, but more details were given.
The released synopsis is evocative, but doesn’t tell much, plot wise, other than it’s about a rebel (Theron) who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland. Max obviously crosses paths with her. According to the magazine, their characters “have a contentious relationship for most of the film.” Nicholas Hoult plays Nux an acolyte of the evil warlord (who ever that is).
Production and Reshoots.
The magazine says the film was a treacherous 116-day shoot in a baking desert (Hardy’s already said it was, “hot, isolated… and mental”). And there were 19 days of soundstage reshoots, days which Miller says were always planned, but he couldn’t pull them off on location in hot and sweaty Nambia. “Nothing about this movie was a walk in the park,” Theron said. “Vanity went out the window.”
For years there was no script, just storyboards.
Theron was on board, before there was even a screenplay just based on the evocative 150 pages of storyboards. “There was so much about this movie that intrigued me,” she said. Miller’s producing partner, Doug Mitchell said those same storyboards sat in his office for years, “like a Mozart symphony waiting to be played.” This all backs up Miller’s comments from 2011 where he said this new film was pretty much the same version of the aborted one he wanted to tell with Mel Gibson back in 2003.
A silent action film in the desert?
Miller already said he wanted to make a movie featuring few digital effects and even less dialogue and the magazine says Miller’s intention was to design the movie with images and not words. And Theron echoed that sentiment of silence. “To not have to rely on dialogue…I knew right off the bat that this was going to be like a huge ballet.” Obviously Warner Bros. aren't going to make a $150 million dollar silent movie blockbuster, but it's nice to hear even the actor echo that adventurous-sounding idea.
Everyone interviewed downplays the reported clashes and battles between Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.
“Tom can be very playful, but he was also Mad Max,” Miller said. “Max is a very damaged character who wants nothing to do with other people. He’s a trapped wild animal. To immerse yourself in that role… you do carry your work home.”
If there were issues on set, they appear to be in the past. “For me personally, it was an exhausting movie to make,” Theron explained. “But there was never anything personal between Tom and me. I wouldn’t have wanted to make this movie with anybody else.” And Hardy’s take on it all? The actor downplays any contentious days completely, shoots down method acting and says he got along great with his co-star.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” opens May 15, 2015, but it sounds like Comic-Con fans will get the first real taste.