By Edward Davis | The Playlist July 19, 2014 at 6:06PM
Yeah, that was a cool “Avengers 2” Entertainment Weekly cover and all, but the “Mad Max: Fury Road” one stole everyone’s thunder. Wait, are we ranking EW covers here? No, but in terms of surprise, boldness and sheer bad-ass-ity—hell, one of the lead actors was missing an arm, for pete’s sake—we’d have to say that cover is one to beat for building anticipation.
It probably helped that not a lot was known about George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road,” a movie that was shot two years ago and isn’t even coming out until summer 2015. Did we mention it had been in pre-production since about 2011? Stem to stern, this one’s gestation is a long one. So yeah, little was known other than the cast and that Tom Hardy was playing a rebooted version of the Mad Max character along with Charlize Theron playing someone called Imperator Furiosa (the title of the rumored sequel “Mad Max: Furiosa”).
‘Fury Road’ is back in the pages of EW briefly this week in their Comic-Con issue (via a Tom Hardy fansite). It’s a rather brief piece, but has a bevy of details. For one, that character shown strapped to the front of a car driving across the desert in the original set of photos? That’s Tom Hardy’s Max. "Max has been through a lot," Hardy told the magazine, but he’s also likely talking about the origin story presented in the original 1979 “Mad Max” movie.
Among other details revealed, on top of a grueling 116 day shoot in the Nambian desert, the movie actually shot in order too—something that probably added to its grand expense (though it seems that exact figure hasn’t been revealed yet). Also pretty fascinating is the fact that the movie shot without the use of a detailed script. We’ve heard all about those uber comprehensive storyboards, but apparently Miller relied on them during shooting instead of a traditional screenplay (which bolsters the idea that it’s a film that doesn’t rely much on dialogue).
Without a traditional script the actors had to rely on Miller who knew the story inside and out. "I had the longest pre-production rehearsal with a director—talking about what it was all supposed to be—that I've ever had in my entire career," Theron said.
Additionally fascinating is the way the reboot ties into the canonical history of the first film, but then may veer away from the events that took place in the sequels (some of them discussed here). "Everything about it was so specific," she said. "But very bare."
It might just be that “Mad Max: Fury Road” picks up after the events of the aforementioned 1978 film. In fact, the villain of that film, Toecutter, played by Aussie actor Hugh Keays-Byrne, is indeed in ‘Fury Road’ as well. This time Keays-Byrne is also playing the main antagonist, but he’s now a character called Immortan Joe and Theron's Furiosa is on the run from him. Got that?
George Miller wasn’t kidding when he told us back in 2012, “He’s a rebooted Mad Max, but it’s a new interpretation.” So clearly taking some elements from the original films, but not all of them. Pretty intriguing stuff and quickly becoming the most anticipated blockbuster of next year. A teaser trailer will be revealed next week at Comic-Con and that likely means it’ll be online shortly thereafter.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” lands in theaters May 15, 2015. Update: Two new photos have been revealed as well, including one behind-the-scenes photo.