He may be best known these days for directing kid-friendly films like Happy Feet and Babe: Pig in the City, but Australian director George Miller also made the three Mad Max films with Mel Gibson, and he’s currently gearing up to film two more with Tom Hardy (Bronson, Inception) taking over from Gibson. The DLB recently spoke with Miller and of course the conversation had to turn towards Mad Max: Fury Road, currently set to start filming in Namibia next April.

Tonally, how will Fury Road compare to the other Mad Max films?

I’m not trying to make them a continuation. Each of the three films are separate from each other. They were different me, exploring film. They were my first films, and the difference in the first and second were budget. The first was made for $350,000. I had never been on a movie set before. Mel Gibson had never made a movie before; he was straight out of drama school. The crew never worked on a movie before so the second one was an attempt to do all the things that I learned from the first one.

The third one was different again, so this one is a completely different thing. We cast Tom Hardy. It evokes the world. What is attractive about that world for me, it’s not so much about a post-apocalyptic world but it becomes very metaphorical – they are like Westerns – and the world and human behaviour is reduced to its most elemental stages. So you take away the clutter of the world and get down to these figures in the landscape and they play out like morality plays, very stark and clear. So that’s the big attraction to me with these stories.

Tom Hardy

Is Hardy’s take going to be reminiscent of Gibson’s, do you think, or have you given him license?

I have given him license. Clearly it will start off in that world; it will be an unmistakable Mad Max. The design of the vehicles and the world will be unmistakable Mad Max. But yeah, Hardy has license. He is his own actor. I have given him space.

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