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'Mad Max: Fury Road': EW preview

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STARRING Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

DIRECTED BY George Miller

RATED R

RELEASE DATE May 15

In George Miller’s postapocalyptic Mad Max: Fury Road, you are what you drive, with the tricked-out vehicles as essential as food and water. Miller and his production designer, Colin Gibson, combed junkyards in Australia to jury-rig nearly 150 killer rides, including the 1974 Ford Falcon XB GT coupe driven by Max (Tom Hardy). It’s the same model as the one in the original 1979 film, just in much worse shape. “We put it through hell,” says Gibson. “It’s basically beaten to death and falling apart, like Max himself when we first discover him.” Here’s a look at three other wasteland wrecks.

FURIOSA’S WAR RIG The monster truck driven by Charlize Theron’s heroine is “the dramatic heart of the film,” Gibson says. The stage for numerous nasty battles, the 78-foot 18-wheeler is the love child of a Czechoslovakian military off-roader and a 1940s Chevy Fleetmaster, with a Volkswagen Beetle thrown in as a rear-gun turret. Yes, those are human skulls on the grille. Don’t cross Furiosa.

IMMORTAN JOE’S GAS-GUZZLER The villain Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) shows off his might with this gnarly ride made from multiple 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Villes. That model is so beloved and rare Down Under that Gibson had to scrounge up five cars in the States, cut them apart, and weld them together. “I jacked them up with over-two-meter-high wheels and gave them double V-8 engines,” he says.

NUX’S WARMONGER-MOBILE Bloodthirsty Immortan Joe devotee Nux (Nicholas Hoult) gets around in a 1932 five-window deuce coupe with canted wheels and weaponized exhaust pipes. “It’s almost the perfect hot-rod car,” Gibson says, “with a crucifix off the front for spearing, harpooning, and lancing—and that we lash Max to at the beginning of the film.” Jesus, take the wheel indeed.

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