Mad Max fans itching for a sequel to Fury Road got some good news today, as star Tom Hardy confirmed he’s ready to roll when the opportunity comes. Hardy is in San Diego this weekend for Comic-Con, where he’s plugging October’s Venom movie. The actor plays journalist Eddie Brock, who unwittingly bonds with a vicious alien symbiote to become an ultraviolent antihero. But some of Hardy’s most anticipated projects are ones that aren’t even in production yet.
Fury Road came out in 2015 to almost universal acclaim. It was the first installment in the car-focused, post-apocalyptic series in 30 years. Hardy replaced Mel Gibson in the role of “Mad Max” Rockatansky, a drifter with a knack for finding trouble. In this entry, Max meets Furiosa (Charlize Theron) and helps her liberate a group of women from a sadistic society. Despite its critical and commercial success, no word has come about a sequel yet.
Talking to Variety, Hardy repeated what fans already knew: Fury Road was supposed to start off a new trilogy of Mad Max films. But movie production is due just as much to business as the will of creators. The actor hinted at the troubles keeping a second film from happening. “I think we were still waiting on being given the opportunity and the green light to do the next one,” Hardy said. “But a lot of projects are in radial, you know, you wait for something to land or when it’s real. As soon as it’s real, we’ll jump on it.”
One of the major roadblocks to another Mad Max is some ongoing legal trouble. Director George Miller is currently suing distributor Warner Bros. over some unpaid bonuses to his production company. The studio was supposed to pay $9 million if Fury Road didn’t exceed its budget. Warner claims this didn’t happen, and Miller says that this was only because of interference from the studio. He says the company scrapped some scripted scenes before insisting on reshoots, and the extra filming only added to the budget.
Until the two sides settle their differences, a fourth Mad Max film isn’t going to happen. The franchise just doesn’t exist without Miller, and Warner owns the rights to the property. Whether it gets a sequel or not, however, Fury Road remains a modern action classic. As much as fans want a follow-up, it probably isn’t happening anytime soon. But the good news is that if it does, Hardy will happily come along for the ride.