While at the film/television/music bacchanal known as SxSW, Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller was on hand to attend a screening of his classic Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, and show off some spankin’ new footage from Fury Road. While there, The Huffington Post caught up with Miller to ask a few tidbits about the upcoming film…including, “Where’s Mel Gibson?”
When asked if Miller considered doing Fury Road with Mel as an older version of Max (which is feasible, as Mad Max 2 was made 30 years ago), he said:
We were going to back in 2000 and 2001. We were going to do it with Mel and we were within reach of doing it with Mel. Then 9/11 happened and the American dollar fell against the Australian dollar. The budget ballooned. There was a lot of pressure at Warner Bros. for me to do “Happy Feet” back then because there was only a small window where they could get the digital house. So we went on to do that. By the time we were ready for “Fury Road” again, Mel had all those troubles. It also definitely got to the stage where it wasn’t like “Unforgiven,” where it plays with an older guy. It was definitely the younger guy, the same guy.
And when it comes to Tom Hardy in the titular role:
The amazing thing was Tom was 6 weeks old when we shot the first “Mad Max.” Mel was 21 when we did the first “Mad Max.” In “Road Warrior,” he’s 24. He was very manly as a young man. By the time we were casting “Fury Road,” I had seen “Bronson” and “Stuart: A Life Backwards” with Benedict Cumberbatch. I thought this guy had the whole range. He spent a lot of time in the theater. Like Mel, he came out of drama school where he did all the Shakespeare. He walked in with that charisma. It’s an ineffable part of Max. He had that quality that just reminded me so much of Mel when he first walked in.
Does it make any difference whether or not Gibson is in the film? Guess we’ll find out when Mad Max: Fury Road opens in theaters on May 15th.
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