— by CAM SMITH —
For what feels like the hundredth time, the spectre of “Mad Max 4” — often dubbed “Fury Road” — has once again risen, with further sequel rumors destined to rile up all lovers of dirt-streaked, apocalyptic Aussie off-roading entertainment the world over.
According to an exclusive story on E! Online, the film’s production team is hoping to catch a star in the form of relatively unknown British actor Tom Hardy — who recently made a noticeable splash with the indie prison drama “Bronson” — who’d be charged with stepping into Mel Gibson’s sun-baked leathers.
However, the real focus of the article is on the fact that Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron is at the top of returning director George Miller’s wish-list of potential female leads. Whether she would be playing Max’s fated-for-roadkill-status wife, or another character is unclear.
Of course, despite the tantalizing prospects of this report, it also makes clear that no offers have been made and that the studio has yet to sign off on Miller’s choices.
What does this all mean? Frankly, probably nothing. Without any verified sources, or comments from the featured players in the story, it essentially boils down to the article being little more than a speculative puff piece aimed at placating fan demands for news until something more substantial comes down the pike. If it ever does.
Honestly, not being a particularly rabid “Mad Max” guy — “The Road Warrior” is pretty darn fun, but I’m more or less indifferent to the other two instalments — this gossip doesn’t really move me much in either direction. Still, since Neil Marshall’s “Doomsday” proved that there is still room on the movie-going menu for excessively violent films featuring filthy punk-rock bandits demolishing the crap out of each other with jury-rigged automobiles, I suppose there’s no good reason why the original innovator shouldn’t be allowed back onto the track.
I just hope that Miller has an intriguing story to tell, and isn’t simply hopping on the (admittedly lucrative) ’80s nostalgia wagon for an easy hit. Although, after the no doubt demoralizing ride he went on with well-documented implosion of the “Justice League” project, it’s kinda hard to blame him for wanting to return to safer ground.
Nevertheless, with all that said, I’ll be onboard with bells on if the resulting film leads to anything half as awesome as this:
Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.