Mad Max: Fury Road: Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie Were Considered For Roles
When preparing to make Mad Max: Fury Road all the way back in 2001, director George Miller considered casting Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were at one point considered for roles in Mad Max: Fury Road. The film from Australian director George Miller is the fourth in the Mad Max franchise, which began with the surprise success of the low-budget 1979 original and paved the way for lead actor Mel Gibson’s subsequent stardom. Fury Road revisited the vehicular dystopia three decades after its predecessor was released, hitting theaters in 2015 to rave reviews from critics.
Though the movie is relatively light on plot, Mad Max: Fury Road sees series protagonist Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) inadvertently caught up in Imperator Furiosa’s (Charlize Theron) plan to help a group of women escape from the cult leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Furiosa, a high-ranking officer in Joe’s army, flees suddenly in an armored truck, while Max, who had been captured by the cult, determines to tag along and help their cause. The impeccable craftwork and stunning action led to Fury Road’s inclusion on many a Best-of-the-2010s list, with several critics dubbing it one of the greatest action movies ever made.
Miller’s film had quite a long journey from page to screen, however, which Kyle Buchanan recounts in his upcoming book, Blood, Sweat, and Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road. In one passage the writer shares on Twitter, a number of people involved in the pre-production recall an early casting discussion held in 2001, just after the storyboards had been completed. Unsure that Gibson was willing to reprise his role, Miller at one point pushed for two of Hollywood’s biggest names: Pitt and Jolie. Check out the original post below:
Based on what James Nicholas, Miller’s former Executive Assistant, states, Pitt was being considered for the role of Max himself, while Jolie almost certainly would have been in the running for Furiosa. This, of course, would have been a few years before the two actors became Hollywood’s biggest power-couple, with 2001 seeing the release of Pitt’s Ocean’s Eleven and Jolie’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The alternate casting, particularly in that era of their respective careers, should be a tantalizing one for fans.
It is also very much indicative of how long Fury Road spent in development hell – after having been conceived in the 1980s and ’90s, plans to finally shoot it in 2001 ended up derailed by 9/11, with a subsequent attempt disrupted by the start of the Iraq War. In the end, filming took place in 2012 with Hardy and Theron in the lead roles, and while it’s certainly fun to imagine how it might’ve looked with Pitt and Jolie sharing the screen, fans can hardly regret the way things turned out. The prequel film Furiosa is next on the docket, with Anya Taylor-Joy playing the title role, and hopefully this pandemic isn’t just the first of another long string of catastrophes that delays Miller’s vision hitting the big screen.