Before he starred in “Mad Max” in 1979, Australian actor Mel Gibson was unknown to the rest of the world.
After that, Gibson was on his way to international stardom. He reprised his role as the titular Max Rockatansky two more times in sequels “The Road Warrior” (1981) and “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” (1985).
So for some fans of the series, it may have been a little bit of a surprise that he won’t be making an appearance in the latest sequel “Mad Max: Fury Road.“
The film itself took nearly 17 years to get made. Besides geographical and weather-related problems delaying production, director George Miller saw many reasons that made it difficult to get Gibson in his latest film.
“We were going to do it with Mel and we were within reach of doing it with Mel. Then 9/11 happened and the American dollar fell against the Australian dollar.” Miller toldThe Huffington Post.
After the film was revisted years later, Miller started looking at others to play the lead as Gibson became older and his life was rocked by a series of scandals.
“By the time we got there, not only had Mel hit all the turbulence in his life, but this is not a ‘Mad Max’ in which he’s an old warrior,” Miller told the New York Post.
Miller also wanted to go for somebody younger, as this film, which is set in the future, isn’t supposed to take place long after the original films.
“He’s meant to be that same contemporary warrior. I guess in the same way that James Bond had been played by various people, it was time to hand over the mantle.” Miller said.
Gibson’s part is now being played by Tom Hardy.
However, there seem to be no hard feelings, as Gibson was present at the premiere with both Hardy and Miller.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” opens nationwide on Friday, May 15.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.