Australian actor, martial-artist and stuntman Richard Norton (“Mr Nice Guy”, “The Octagon”) will join Tom Hardy on the set of “Mad Max Fury Road” when the long-awaited sequel begins production early next year.
The 61-year-old was a part of the production when it was initially due to film last year (at which stage I hear he was set to play several roles, including the one he talks about below), before it was canned shortly before filming was to begin.
The film, starring Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy, was already well into pre-production.
As we reported at the time, much had already been done on the film – the fourth in the “Mad Max” series – when it was shut down in October :
- The vehicles being used in the film have already been built. Millions were spent on putting together some remarkable forms of transportation that were being built at the former Hills Transport warehouse at Villawood in NSW. 130 cars and bikes had been constructed.
- Stunt-men were already in Broken Hill rehearsing. It was revealed last week that paralympic swimmer Annabelle Williams was going to stand in for Charlize Theron, playing a one-armed heroine named ‘Furiosa’ in the film and it’s sequel (said to be shot back-to-back), “Mad Max Furiosa”.
- Catering on the set of the film is said to be ‘insane’. Key members of crew say they were being served “choice-cut steaks” for lunch.
- Some second unit sequences had already been shot, including a chase sequence.
This was the umpteenth delay for the film. The film was due to get off the ground a few years back, with Mel Gibson reprising his role as the renegade ex-cop, but the economy vulcanized that incarnation. It’s only recently that the project has got up again – but not without more delays; as a consequence of the unremitting hiccups, the film has already lost several cast members.
Norton spoke to journalist Mike Fury about the film — and in doing so, revealed who is playing the film’s villain!
We were meant to be filming right now but they postponed it for a January 2012 start. I’m really looking forward to this because I’m playing a number of roles, including the main henchman to the bad guy played by Hugh Keays-Byrne who was in the original Mad Max over 30 years ago. I’m so thrilled for the opportunity to be part of such an iconic aussie franchise and have such a good role. A few months ago we did rehearsals with cars and trucks in the Australian Outback. Too much fun for one person! [Laughs] Brit Tom Hardy will play the lead as the Max character and he says he can’t wait to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu everyday on-set so that should be a hoot! This is definitely the most exciting thing I’ve got coming up and as I say we’ll be shooting from January 2012.
So there you have it, Keays-Byrne – who was set to play Martian Manhunter in George Miller’s abandoned “Justice League” movie – is the bad guy of “Fury Road”.
Norton also talked a little about his involvement with “The Amazing Spider-Man”.
Unfortunately I can’t say much right now because I’m not allowed to. However I can say it was mostly stunt work. I doubt you’ll even recognise me. I play a SWAT guy but it’s a small part. I was on-set for four weeks and the experience was just phenomenal… it’s a $220 million budget movie! Vic Armstrong was the second unit director and it was great working with him. Andy Armstrong, his brother, was the stunt coordinator and an old friend. Andy’s the one who brought me onboard so for all those reasons and more it was a lot of fun!
Thanks to ‘David’