Mad Max 4

According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog Mel Gibson probably won’t be back as Max, even though Miller teased to reporters last weekend that, "It could be Mel, it could be anyone."

Instead, says Heat Vision, British actor Tom Hardy will be the new Max Rockatansky – though there has been no official confirmation of this yet. Hardy is still best known to sci-fi fans as Shinzon in Star Trek Nemesis, but don’t hold that against him. He’s actually a fantastic actor who has turned in some stunning performances in the past few years, including one as a mentally-ill alcoholic in the BBC’s drama Stuart: A Life Backwards, a twitchy scientist in the remake of A For Andromeda and Bill Sykes in the BBC’s Oliver Twist. He’s also appeared in the films Layer Cake, Black Hawk Down and RockNRolla, and SFX has been predicted big things for him for some time (he'd make a great Doctor Who!).

Starring opposite Hardy will be Charlize Theron. Filming is set to start next August in Australia, from a script by Miler. The first Mad was released in 1979, and the last one, Beyond Thunderdome, was released in 1985.

Miller is currently directing Happy Feet 2 for which Warners for a 2011 release date.