Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller says he originally wanted to cast Eminem in lead role

Rapper was Miller’s initial favourite for the part, which eventually went to Tom Hardy

Mad Max: Fury Road

Eminem almost played the lead role in Mad Max: Fury Road.

The 2017 hit film by director George Miller starred Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky, a drifter and survivor in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

The story behind the film’s production is the subject of a new book titled Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road by New York Times journalist Kyle Buchanan.

In an excerpt published by Vulture, it was revealed that the casting for the lead part boiled down to Hardy, Armie Hammer and Marvel star Jeremy Renner.

Prior to that, however, Hollywood leading men such as Michael Fassbender, Joel Kinnaman, Heath Ledger, and Eric Bana had also been in contention for the role.

One unexpected name who had been tapped to play the lead, however, is Eminem.

Miller – who also directed the 1979 original starring Mel Gibson – told Buchanan that he had been interested in casting Eminem long before Hardy entered the conversation.

In 2002, the Grammy-winner made his acting debut in 8 Mile, a film loosely based on his early life as an aspiring rapper in Detroit.

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron starring in Mad Max: Fury Road

He said that he had spoken to Eminem’s 8 Mile co-star, the late Brittany Murphy, about potentially casting the rapper and “she had no reservations about saying what a wonderful talent he is”.

Miller said that he reached out to Eminem but “that’s as far as it went because we were going to shoot in Australia at that point, and he simply didn’t want to leave home”.

“I think he had the impression that if he could do it out of his home state, then he’d be up for it,” said the filmmaker.

Mad Max: Fury Road was shot primarily in Namibia, with filming also taking place at studios in South Africa and Sydney.

Elsewhere in the excerpt, Buchanan wrote that Hardy spat at Armie Hammer during his audition for the role.

The film – also starring Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult – was a hit among fans and critics.

A prequel film, titled Furiosa and starring Anya Taylor-Joy, is set for release on 28 June 2023.

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