Just a few days ago, I sang the praises of Tom Hardy as a potential replacement for Mel Gibson in the fourth Mad Max film, Fury Road. Now, ABC News reports that current sci-fi golden boy Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation, Avatar, upcoming Clash of the Titans) is director George Miller's current choice for the lead. Miller was coy in speaking with ABC, "It could be Mel, it could be anyone, in fact I'm looking around at these faces to see if anyone's quite interesting here." Charlize Theron is still all but confirmed as the female lead.

Miller's proposed Justice League film, which never started shooting, suffered from the same kind of casting shell game. When Warner Bros. seemed to be gearing up production on that dream project, a revolving list of (affordable) hot young actors had their names attached as different superheroes. Are George Miller and Warner Bros. performing a similar strategy with Fury Road? Throwing random names into the rumor mill to gauge which ones get the most public approval?

I like the idea of Tom Hardy as Mad Max more than Worthington. Hardy's more dangerous, and I think that's an important element of the character. No matter who they choose, Fury Road is closer to being a reality than ever before. Pre-production begins next week with the crew heading to New South Wales, Australia for an August 2010 shoot.