7 things you need to know about Mad Max: Fury Road
Before tomorrow’s premiere
1. The last time we saw Mad Max on the big screen was in 1985's Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, with Mel Gibson playing the titular role. While it's arguably the gig that made Gibson famous, the Aussie actor has had many career ups and downs since. In a recent interview, director George Miller said "he was to do the movie in 2001," but after filming was delayed repeatedly, Gibson (now 59) simply became too old to play the renegade action hero for the fourth time.
2. The movie has been over 14 years in the making - with several major hiccups along the way. "9/11 happened," explains Miller. "The American dollar collapsed 25 per cent against the Australian dollar. Our budget ballooned. It was very hard to get all the planets aligned and, by then, Warner Bros. was very keen to get on to Happy Feet [which Miller directed]. To do the animation, that took three-and-a-half years."
Add to that more filming delays - the production location changed from Australia to Namibia after unexpectedly heavy rains turned the desert-like conditions of Broken Hill into a lush green landscape unsuitable for the film. Some parts were later filmed in Western Sydney in 2012.
3. After English actor Tom Hardy was cast as the new Max Rockatansky, he felt it was important to meet Mel Gibson to chat about the role. "It wasn't really a passing of the baton moment or a blessing or anything like that," said Hardy in an interview with SMH. "For me it was about inheriting the legacy." The two met, broke the ice and spoke for a couple hours. Gibson even made a surprise red carpet appearance at the LA premiere last week.
4. The post-apocalyptic plotline involves Max teaming up with Charlize Theron's character Imperator Furiosa in what's been described as one extended desert-chase scene. While Max looking for an escape route following the loss of his wife and child, Furiosa is trying to get back to her childhood homeland.
5. With an Aussie director, you'd expect a handful of Aussie actors on board, right? Luckily, the cast includes Mad Max original Hugh Keays-Byrne, plus Josh Helman, models-turned-actresses Megan Gale and Abbey Lee, and newcomer Courtney Eaton.
6. Rounding off the end-of-the-world plotline is a pivotal gang of five wives, so beautiful that they've been imprisoned by a crazy dude. Naturally, Miller cast a slew of real-life models and famous offspring in these roles. The five wives are played by Abbey Lee and Eaton, plus British stunner Rosie-Huntington Whiteley, Zoë Kravitz (son of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet) and Riley Keough (granddaughter of Elvis Presley). What a cast.
7. Lastly, Sydneysiders will be given the opportunity to check out some of the cars and bikes used in the film tomorrow (Wednesday, May 13). A vehicle display at the Sydney Opera House forecourt will see Buick, Doof Wagon, Elvis, F350, The Gigahorse, The Nux Car, Oldsmobile, Razor Cola and Surfari on display, as well as the impressive War Rig, an 18-wheeler war machine.
Buro 24/7 Selection
Buro 24/7 Selection