Hardy takes over role with Gibson's blessings
"Mad" Max Rockatansky is back, and British actor Tom Hardy has made the character his own in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Picking up where Mel Gibson left off, director George Miller knew he'd found someone capable of bringing truth to what many consider a mythical figure in his new leading man.
When the first film was released in 1979, Hardy was just two years old, but grew up aware of the trilogy and the genius of Miller's iconic universe.
When it was time to cast the reboot, the circuit was buzzing with potential names being thrown around.
But the 37-year-old - best known for his portrayal of Batman villain Bane in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises - never thought he was in the running for such a legendary part.
"When I finally sat down with George, we ended up talking about theatre for three hours," Hardy said, having studied at various drama schools in the UK, including the Drama Centre London.
"I fell in love with him and really responded to what he was trying to deliver with this new movie. Mel's Max is iconic, but I entered into a collaboration with him to transmute Max for the events in this film. It's a great honour to play this role."
Hardy also reached out to Gibson, 59, and over lunch, Gibson handed over the Mad Max torch and "gave (him) his blessings".
"What I really loved about the movie is that it's a fantastic spectacle of epic and relentless live action," he gushed.
"It's all about the cars, explosions and stunts. Kids can go and watch this film instead of playing post-apocalyptic games on their Xbox.
"This movie challenged every one of us to do something none of us thought we could do.
"It's better than any superhero movie that's out there; and I can say that because I'm not attached to any at this moment."