There seems a good chance that Mad Max: Fury Road will spark at least one sequel- if the pricey Village Roadshow Pictures/Warner Bros. action-adventure surpasses a lofty B.O. benchmark.

Producers Kennedy Miller Mitchell reportedly have an option on the services of Tom Hardy, who plays Max Rockatansky, for as many as three films.

That’s according to an Esquire magazine interview with Hardy, which quotes the English actor as saying, “Everything’s based on figures and how things are perceived. Inevitably it’s a business.”

At Comic-Con last year director/co-writer George Miller said, “In order to tell this story, we came up with two others. We’ve written the screenplay of one and the novelization of another, but it’s a very rough novel.”

Set to have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month, the fourth movie in the franchise follows Mad Max as he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the wasteland in a war rig driven by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). The mob has escaped a citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), from whom something irreplaceable has been taken.

It was a challenging shoot in Namibia. “We were in the middle of nowhere,” Hardy told Esquire, “so far away from the studio system that [Warner Bros] can’t really see what’s going on, and just getting things to and from the set was a nightmare.

“We’d lose half a vehicle in sand and have to dig it out. It was just this unit in the middle of x-million square-kilometres of desert, and then this group of lunatics in leathers, like a really weird S&M party, or a Hell’s Angels convention. It was like Cirque du Soleil meets ….[heavy metal band] Slipknot.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, Mad Max: Fury Road ended up costing US$150 million to produce. If that’s true, Forbes’ Scott Mendelson calculates the film needs to gross at least $US400 million worldwide to reach breakeven.

Mendelsohn surmises, “The picture looks like a terrific thrill ride, but it will also deal (in America) with couples who end up picking Pitch Perfect 2 or Avengers: Age of Ultron and an overseas audience still drenched in Avengers-fever.

“Now if it can open it won’t have hard action competition until Jurassic World drops on June 12th. Still, the material looks spectacular and casting Charlize Theron (and showing her as a full-on action hero) goes a long way towards assuring women that this won’t be some dude-bro affair.”

Roadshow launches the film on May 14. Village Roadshow co-executive chairman Graham Burke exudes confidence, telling IF, “The movie is fantastic and is going to be a giant in my view.”

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