Movie Reviews

Tom Hardy's Mad Max Future Update Is Incredibly Disappointing, But I'm Not Surprised


  • Tom Hardy’s chances of starring in Mad Max: The Wasteland have declined, impacting the state of the franchise.
  • Miller’s slow creative pace and focus on Furiosa make a Mad Max return for Hardy unlikely.
  • Furiosa’s box office disappointment may hinder a potential Mad Max 5, even with Hardy’s involvement.

Tom Hardy’s chances of starring in Mad Max: The Wasteland have gradually yet unsurprisingly declined in recent years. Following the shocking box office flop of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga despite its 90% Rotten Tomatoes score, the state of George Miller’s Mad Max franchise is currently uncertain. While Mad Max: Fury Road wasn’t considered an astounding success at the 2015 box office, earning just under $380 million worldwide and becoming the 21st highest-grossing film of that year, there were high hopes for Furiosa considering its casting of Anya Taylor-Joy as its titular protagonist. Still, the prequel has only pulled in about $161.5 million worldwide.

With the critical acclaim and Oscar success of Mad Max: Fury Road, combined with the action-packed qualities of Furiosa that make it exponentially better to see, hear, and experience in theaters, I was fairly confident that it would crack the top 10 highest-grossing films of 2024 at the halfway point of the year. 2024 has been a year of surprising box office performances, with the only real contenders to break $1 billion being animated movies (Despicable Me 4, Inside Out 2) and comic book sequels (Deadpool & Wolverine, Joker: Folie à Deux). Had Furiosa instead been a Tom Hardy-led Mad Max sequel, perhaps it would have fared better at the modern box office.

It’s Too Late To Make Mad Max 5 With Tom Hardy Now

Miller has a sluggish creative pace and has shifted focus to Furiosa

I fear that it’s simply too late for Miller and the franchise to reinsert Hardy’s Mad Max rendition into the fold, especially considering how long it took Miller to put together Furiosa. It’s been almost 10 years since Mad Max: Fury Road was released and there’s still no movement on Mad Max: The Wasteland, which was supposed to be the Hardy-led sequel to Fury Road. The franchise has clearly shifted its focus to Furiosa instead, for better or for worse. It would be one thing if Miller was releasing new Mad Max films every three or four years, but Furiosa was first announced in 2010, which is a troubling sign for any future sequel.

To the same effect, the screenplay for Fury Road took Miller and co-writer Nico Lathouris fifteen years to complete, which doesn’t even consider the additional years of production and editing. Apparently. Miller had already worked out what happens to Hardy’s Mad Max before Fury Road was even released, so it’s unclear why development on Mad Max: The Wasteland has taken so long outside of Miller’s shift in focus to Furiosa. There are also talks about another Mad Max prequel movie that would feature a younger version of Hardy’s character, which at this point would have to be recast similar to how Taylor-Joy took the reins from Charlize Theron.


Is Mad Max a hero or an anti-hero?

The Mad Max films largely focus on the titular Max, a wanderer in the post-apocalyptic Wastelands. The character is often defined by his grim outlook and harsh methods, which help keep him detached from the world around him. However, despite his dark outlook and lethal tactics, Max has proven to be a consistent hero in the series. I’d argue that almost every film focusing on him highlights his inherent heroism, with Max frequently risking his life to help others before moving on. Do you think Mad Max is a classic hero, or does his brutal methods make him an anti-hero?

Tom Hardy’s Difficulty Making Fury Road Always Made A Mad Max Return Unlikely

Hardy reportedly clashed with both Miller and Theron during production on Fury Road

Hardy has reportedly had several clashes on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road with both Miller and his co-star Charlize Theron. While there were apologies made afterward, it’s clearly a matter of a contrast in styles here which might have been mild enough to finish production but still had a lingering impression on everyone involved. Miller has even spoken about possibly recasting if Max were to return, hinting that another Mad Max prequel movie could be in store sooner than anyone had previously anticipated. What’s more, Hardy has recently made his doubts clear about returning to the Mad Max franchise.

If Hardy does not return to the franchise as he suggests, then Miller might have no choice but to convert Mad Max: The Wasteland into another prequel series, which could smartly create an overlap with Taylor-Joy’s Furiosa. Although the two characters hadn’t met before Fury Road, the film could potentially extend both of their stories into a single film without having much, if any, direct overlap. Miller could theoretically bring back Charlize Theron to spearhead his next Mad Max project which would then act as a sequel to both Fury Road and Furiosa. Considering that Taylor-Joy was only in roughly half of Furiosa, it would be great to see what else she could do in the role.


How Many Lines Furiosa Has In Each Mad Max Movie

The Mad Max franchise has always prioritized visuals over dialogue, and that fact is evident in how many lines Furiosa has had in her movies.

Furiosa’s Box Office Made Mad Max 5 A Bigger Challenge Even With Tom Hardy

Furiosa is the biggest box office disappointment of the year thus far

Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa Peeking Around a Corner in Furiosa A Mad Max Saga

Unfortunately, Furiosa didn’t exactly hit at the box office despite receiving rave reviews from critics, adding another layer of ambiguity about Miller’s franchise potential. This could mean that even if Hardy was going to come back, Mad Max 5 might not happen at this point. It’s arguably the most shocking box office flop of the year thus far mostly because it just doesn’t make sense. Furiosa has several big-name actors, favorable reviews, mesmerizing action sequences, and allowed plenty of time for viewers who slept on Fury Road to see it before the prequel was released. It’s sad to think that Miller may never direct another Mad Max movie with Hardy as the titular character.


Furiosa’s Box Office Explained: What The Hell Happened With The Mad Max Prequel?!

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga performed poorly in its opening weekend and is shaping up to be one of the biggest box office disappointments of 2024.

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