By Edward Davis | The Playlist May 21, 2012 at 2:05PM
Status report check-in time. If you've paid attention to interviews with Charlize Theron, you'll know she almost didn't star in Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" because she was supposed to play the female lead in George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road," the long-awaited continuation of the Mad Max saga, this time with Tom Hardy in the lead instead of Mel Gibson. She was also set to be the star of "Prometheus," but had to bail on that role that Noomi Rapace eventually took because of "Fury Road" once more (she instead, eventually took a smaller role in the film).
And even John Hillcoat might have "Fury Road" delays to thank because it freed up Tom Hardy to lead his prohibition drama "Lawless." Recently, the shaggy beard Hardy's been sporting in Cannes lead many to speculate that he's getting ready to shoot "Fury Road" imminently. Not the case, however.
“We keep moving that [start date] around, you know?” he told Empire recently. “Who knows when it’ll come out? I’ve been on stand-by for two years… but it’s all part of it. It’s kind of the cool thing to do, to be elusive with dates and all that.”
Evidently rumors had it that "Fury Road" could have shot for an entire year, but it's allegedly having to trim both its budget and shooting schedule. Hardy sort of confirmed these rumors and then went off on a joking tangent. “It was going to be a year of filming, then six months, and now we’re supposed to be doing it in six days. It’s a musical – we’re going to go around shopping centres in a little wagon and sing songs. People were expecting big, but we’re going to give them small. It’ll be a live, free-running musical and it’s coming to a place near you soon.”
Ok, maybe not. So file this one under TBD for now with the engine perhaps only running at a low idle. But we know that heads of department have been in Namibia, where the film will shoot, since the start of the year, so pre-production is, or at least was, a going concern. In case you're asking: "how will 'Fury Road' work? Will Hardy play the same character that Mel Gibson iconically played for three films in a row?" Well, the answer is yes and no.
“He’s a rebooted Mad Max, but it’s a new interpretation.” Miller told us in an interview The Playlist last year, describing all the production issues that delayed the film in 2011. “We made it very clear from the outset that it would be crazy to try to impersonate what Mel had done, but Tom [like] Mel and Heath Ledger [who was once going to appear in a mooted "Mad Max 4" that never happened]; these guys all have a very similar kind of maleness, I find. I don’t know, they somehow remind me of big cats – they’re mesmerizing to look at and be with, but you don’t know what they’re going to do at any moment.”
Meow? See you TBD 2013 or 14.