Mad Max: Fury Road is still gearing up, but won't start until 2012

The wasteland can be harsh and unforgiving, as it has proven by preventing another MAD MAX from making it to theaters for the better part of a decade.

Filmmaker George Miller has been trying to revisit the post-apocalyptic future of the famously angry leather-clad ex-cop with MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (and a possible sequel shot back-to-back), but it's been a bumpy patch of asphalt. A Mel Gibson-starring version crashed years ago (before Mel himself did), but things started looking good when Tom Hardy later agreed to step in as the "new" Max, and other cast members followed. Then... delays.

Miller says the terrible flooding in Australia is the latest setback, but seems optimistic: "We've built the vehicles. We've designed the movie. The principal cast is locked in. The film is funded. It's all ready to go. We just wait."

"We will restart pre-production later this year and begin early next year -- weather permitting," Miller reassures. "It also gives me a chance to get HAPPY FEET [2] really going well -- so there were a lot of factors in the decision. But the big one was that we really had nowhere to shoot."

Hardy is presumably still on-board, despite his recent rocket-ride to the A-list and subsequently loaded schedule. Charlize Theron has been attached to reportedly play a one-armed warrior woman.

Other previously announced cast members seem like more of a question mark -- Teresa Palmer has denied involvement, Nicholas Hoult is on the "Next Big Thing" list with X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and the lead in Bryan Singer's JACK THE GIANT KILLER, and Zoe Kravitz joins him as one of Xavier's early mutant students in the X-MEN prequel.

The FX masters at Weta are helping bring Miller's vehicular mayhem to life. Eventually.

Extra Tidbit: Hardy previously described the new movie as "a nice re-take on the entire world using the same character, depositing him in the same world, but bringing him up to date by 30 years."



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