George Miller is keeping the “Mad Max” franchise alive with his upcoming “Fury Road” prequel movie centered on Furiosa. The decision means fans will have to wait for Tom Hardy to reprise Max Rockatansky in a proper “Fury Road” sequel, but it sounds like Hardy is more than fine waiting. During a recent interview with Esquire magazine, Hardy said he was thrilled to be part of “Fury Road” because it was a Furiosa movie anyway. The actor praised Miller’s decision to refocus the franchise and expand it beyond the title character.
“That was ultimately Furiosa’s movie, which was fantastic. ‘Fury Road.’ Furiosa. It was in the title,” Hardy said about “Fury Road,” which remains one of the most acclaimed action movies ever made. “It was interesting how that one unpacked. If you look at it now, it was a changeover of hands in a way, from Mad Max to Furiosa. That’s what they’re filming now. ‘Furiosa.’ It was a very well implemented changing of the guard. [Miller’s] still got Mad Max, but he’s split his feed between two characters, and that’s really, really cool.”
Hardy looks back fondly on “Fury Road,” but making the movie was anything but an easy experience. Hardy and co-star Charlize Theron made headlines last year for opening up about their rumored feuding on set. Both stars admitted to being an instigator in the set tension and have since made their peace.
“In retrospect, I didn’t have enough empathy to really, truly understand what he must have felt like to step into Mel Gibson’s shoes,” Theron told The New York Times. “That is frightening! And I think because of my own fear, we were putting up walls to protect ourselves instead of saying to each other, ‘This is scary for you, and it’s scary for me, too. Let’s be nice to each other.’ In a weird way, we were functioning like our characters: Everything was about survival.”
Hardy agreed, saying, “I think in hindsight, I was in over my head in many ways. The pressure on both of us was overwhelming at times. What she needed was a better, perhaps more experienced, partner in me. That’s something that can’t be faked. I’d like to think that now that I’m older and uglier, I could rise to that occasion.”
Next up for Hardy is the franchise tentpole “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” in theaters October 15.