First official pics from Mad Max: Fury Road

mad max fury road 4

(From Yahoo) It’s been a long time coming, but here’s incontrovertible proof that the Road Warrior is returning to theaters.

The new Entertainment Weekly features the first photograph of Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in costume for Max Max: Fury Road, the new reboot of the blockbuster Mel Gibson franchise.

Hardy will play Max Rockatansky, the part originated by Gibson in 1979’s Mad Max, while Theron plays a “bad-ass commander” (to quote EW) named Imperator Furiosa.

Fury Road reworks the story of the first Mad Max, about an ex-cop trying to restore order in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Director George Miller — who hasn’t made a Mad Max picture since 1985’s Beyond Thunderdome — has spent years trying to get a fourth movie off the ground.

Production on the film was first announced, then abandoned, in 2003. (At the time, rumor had it that Gibson would star, opposite Heath Ledger.)

In 2009, Miller toyed with the idea of making an animated sequel, before announcing that he’d decided to cast Hardy and Theron in a live-action version.

Three years later, in 2012, Fury Road finally began shooting — and it would be another three years until its 2015 release date.

Anticipation for the film is running high — and the stars were intensely aware of the series’ legacy. Theron, who shaved her head for the role, also worked on gaining a new set of muscles. “I had to build an upper-body strength I never had before. My neck was the size of a football player’s,” she tells EW. “Vanity went out the window.”

Shooting took place over seven months in Namibia, and the desolate location helped Hardy to get into character. “It’s very hot, it’s quite isolated, and it was mental in a brilliant way,” says the actor. “You have no concrete, no coffee shops. We were in the middle of a sandpit.”

Mad Max: Fury Road, which may or may not include a cameo from Gibson, will open in May 2015.

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