Before any questions were even asked, Hardy wanted to state that he has still not officially been cast as Mad Max:
“George (Miller) hasn’t actually confirmed that. It’s strongly coming in my direction. I would be preparing for that role.”
Now whilst I’m a fan of Tom Hardy, this statement still gives me a glimmer of hope that Mel Gibson himself may yet return to play the role which he made so iconic. As a huge fan of the Mad Max trilogy I trust creator George Miller to deliver an excellent fourth movie, however there are just some characters in cinematic history that have been portrayed so perfectly by an actor that it is difficult to accept a different person playing the part. Unfortunately for Hardy, “Mad” Max Rockatansky is one of those iconic characters and at 53 years of age I do not believe Mel Gibson is too old to reprise his role, especially seeing as how the main action pieces of the films are based around vehicles and not that much on actual physical combat.
The iconic status of the character is something that Hardy is fully aware of, and even he acknowledges that Mel Gibson is Mad Max:
“The Mad Max figure is a big figure, and I have to get my head around that. I would have to pick up where Mel left off, but in all honesty, it would be ridiculous to pick up where Mel left off. He is Mad Max. I have to bring something entirely different and new to the stage. If I get offered it and George really wants to go with me, then George will tell me exactly what he wants to do and we’ll work together on the floor to create what it is that he wants to achieve. And I hope I can get that done for him.”
Hardy then stated that his audition was not actually for Max and that George Miller has not even spoken to him about the character, but should he officially get the part he believes the two can do it justice:
“The audition process had nothing to do with Max and nothing to do with the story or the script. It was unorthodox to the point where actually I could have been auditioning for anything. It was an anonymous read. [Miller and I] haven’t actually gotten into the conversation at all about Max.” He goes on to say: “If there’s anybody who can create a Mad Max with me playing the character, it’s going to be George “” it’s his baby.”
I do agree with Hardy in that series creator George Miller is definitely the man to re-create the character if need be, but I would love for nothing more than to see Mel Gibson return as Mad Max.