Oscar winner Charlize Theron and British actor Tom Hardy are the first stars set for George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road."
 
Miller hopes to begin production on the long-gestating sequel in August in Australia, with Warner Brothers distributing. The fourth film in the "Mad Max" franchise previously came closest to production in 20004 when shooting plans fell apart due to potential unrest in Namibia.
 
Very little is known about Miller's script, though The Hollywood Reporter says that the action picks up fairly soon after the events of 1985's "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." That trade report claims that Hardy is taking over for Mel Gibson as ex-cop and post-apocalyptic rover Max Rockatansky, though the Variety story says no such thing, seemingly implying that Gibson may still be involved in some capacity. In any case, Theron would play the project's female lead.
 
Hardy earned rave reviews for his work as the slightly psychotic prisoner and artist at the center of the Sundance flick "Bronson," though audiences may be more likely to recognize him from smaller roles in films like "Black Hawk Down" and "RocknRolla."
 
Theron will next be seen in a somewhat different post-apocalyptic drama, Dimension's long-awaited adaptation of "The Road." Her most recent credits include "The Burning Plain" and "Hancock."