By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 30, 2014 at 4:24PM
TOH! has been calling out Brit Tom Hardy since "Bronson" as one of the most exciting actors working today. Hollywood casting directors too notice--Hardy landed back-to-back roles in Christopher Nolan's "Inception" and "The Dark Knight Rises" as well as "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "Lawless." And Gavin O'Connor showcased him in fight film "Warrior" (see my video interview here). But it takes time for a great actor to reach audiences and become a real marquee draw. Hardy isn't a household name--yet. But anyone who tracks acting knows he has the right stuff. Make sure to check out Steven Knight’s intense man-in-a-car drama “Locke" (my interview here). Hardy's also collaborating with Knight (who created UK TV hit "Peaky Blinders") on the BBC series, "Taboo," executive produced by Ridley Scott.
Hardy's coming up in a number of films at various stages of production. Due in May 2015 is 69-year-old Australian doctor-turned-director George Miller's long-in-the-works summer release, the "Mad Max" reboot "Fury Road," which hit the cover of EW this week for their terrific "Apocalypse Issue." Now's the time to catch up on Miller's still exhilarating 1979 action flick "Mad Max," starring the 23-year-old Mel Gibson, and its "Road Warrior" sequels. In the new film shot in the desert of Namibia, Hardy plays the role originated by Gibson, the damaged and grieving Max Rockatansky, while Charlize Theron takes on kick-ass commander Imperator Furiosa. Miller insisted on deploying few visual effects for "Fury Road," he told EW. “In this crucible of very intense action, the characters are revealed.”
Also in the works for the in-demand Hardy are the Dennis Lehane robbery story "The Drop," which Fox Searchlight should unveil at Telluride or Toronto, Daniel Espinosa's post-World War II Russian thriller "Child 44," also starring Gary Oldman (Lionsgate), and the title role in still-in-development Elton John biopic "Rocketman." Now Variety reports that Hardy is confirmed to join his "Inception" costar Leonardo DiCaprio in New Regency’s western “The Revenant,” adapted from the Michael Punke novel about a man on the frontier in the 1820s who seeks to exact revenge against the men who leave him for dead after he's attacked by a bear. Rising Brit star Will Poulter (“We’re the Millers”) is also in talks to join the cast. Written by Mark L. Smith and director Alejandro González Iñárritu, the movie is set to start in the fall.
Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Keith Redmon and David Kanter will produce along with Inarritu, Arnon Milchan and James Skotchdopole. New Regency is co-financing the film with RatPac. Paul Green, Brett Ratner and James Packer are executive producers.