Why you won't see Mel Gibson in the new 'Mad Max' movie

Mad maxFilmways via NetflixMel Gibson in the original 1979 ‘Mad Max.’

Before he starred in “Mad Max” in 1979, Australian actor Mel Gibson was unknown to the rest of the world.

Then, “Mad Max” became a box-office smash. It grossed $US100 million worldwide and held the Guiness world record for most profitable movie of all time for nearly two decades.

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.

Mad Max Mel GibsonWarner Bros via YouTubeMel Gibson in ‘Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.’

“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.

In 2006, he was arrested for drunk driving and heavily critcized for an anti-Semitic rant. In 2010, a profanity-laced voicemail further tarnished his reputation.

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.

Mad max tom hardyJasin Boland/Warner Bros.Some have said Hardy resembles a young Gibson.

“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 George Miller Tom Hardy Mel Gibson Kevin Winter/Getty Images‘Mad Max’ creator and director George Miller with Tom Hardy and Mel Gibson.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” opens nationwide on Friday, May 15.

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