The original Mad Max plays out as a chase spin on a revenge movie, as highway cop Max punishes the lowlifes who brutalised his family and partner. It’s in Mad Max 2 that we get a better idea of who the character is in Miller’s fully post-apocalyptic world. He’s a man who’s looking to be on the road alone, but there are lines that he won’t stand to see crossed.
He’s more of a spiritual cousin to Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name or Toshiro Mifune’s Samurai than he is a six-packed saviour of the world’s end – but according to Tom Hardy, he is still very much a superhero.
“The thing about Max is that he is quite real,” enthuses Hardy. “Things hurt Max. He is not somebody who can fly, or somebody who if he stubs his toe, it is not going to hurt. He is not someone who can just leap across a river. He has not got any superhero abilities. But he is as iconic as your Batman or your Superman; he is very earthed.
“He was one of our ‘superheroes’, if you like, who wasn’t necessarily a superhero, but an iconic character; in the same way that Batman would be. The world around him is fantastical, but built on very solid materials.”
When it came to taking on the role of Max, Hardy maintains that the decision was an easy one. “I didn’t hesitate at all,” he states. “I think, as a young actor, to play Max is a huge opportunity. It’s fantastic. To be honoured and graced to get the opportunity to play, out of all the superheroes that are about – bottom line – the most cool.”
Mad Max: Fury Road will be released in cinemas on 15 May 2015. For more on the biggest movies, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.