Tom Hardy has made a name for himself with films like 'Inception', 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'Warrior' and 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy', but nothing quite prepared him for the full-on challenge of taking over as Mad Max.

Tom Hardy took over from Mel Gibson in the Mad Max roleTom Hardy took over from Mel Gibson in the Mad Max role

"When I got over the initial jubilation and excitement of being offered the role, I suddenly realised that Mad Max is synonymous with Mel Gibson," Hardy says. "That was a little bit daunting, and possibly people were going to dislike the change. So I thought the right thing to do was go and meet Mel Gibson, because he's part of the Mad Max family. It's like I'm the new wife who has to go and meet the old wife."

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Gibson gave Hardy his blessing, and 'Mad Max: Fury Road' was shot over six months in the Namibian desert by veteran Australian filmmaker George Miller, who created the character in the original 1979 movie and its sequels 'The Road Warrior' and 'Beyond Thunderdome'.

Watch The Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here:

"I have never been more excited and out of my comfort zone," Hardy says of his time in Namibia. "You are getting your popcorn-crunchin', sit-back-and-watch-a-movie extravaganza. But it's a thinking man's action movie. A wise man's movie actually, because George is pushing 70 years of age, and he's turned in what is arguably one of the most youthful things I've seen in my life."

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Hardy has said that he's signed on for three more 'Mad Max' movies, and with the box office success of 'Fury Road' it looks like the franchise could run and run. "George has had 30-something years worth of reinvestment in a world that he created," Hardy says. "And he asked me to come along and play his Max for him. I'm not gonna say no, am I?"