Empire's Mad Max: Fury Road Cover Arrives

Tom Hardy hits the road

This magazine was but a twinkle in the Papa Empire's eye when George Miller first introduced Mel Gibson's 'Mad' Max Rockatansky onto the big screen and injected the term 'road warrior' into the cinematic lexicon. Thirty five years on and we're proud to carry a new Mad Max on the cover - this time played by Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road - as the cult sci-fi hero is reprised for a new generation. Click on the images below for a closer look at Max in subscriber and newsstand form. Go on, he's a handsome devil. Have a click.

The February issue's cover story is a journey through Mad Max lore, with Miller himself acting as your escort across a two-decade-long Mad Max: Fury Road making-of that took in triumphs, disasters and even an invasion of rogue amphibians. The writer/director opens up about everything from Mel Gibson's early involvement to Heath Ledger's possible casting and finally Hardy's take on Rockatansky. For fans of the character - and of singular sci-fi visions that have lasted the years - it's unmissable.

Charlize Theron and George Miller

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy

Of course it's not just about Hardy on screen. Charlize Theron steps into a bleached dustbowl as the bionic-armed Furiosa and Nicholas Hoult appears as a pale-skinned, tattoed rebel called Nux. Max and Furiosa will be travelling together across the wasteland and getting into the kind of auto-scraps that made the film's recent trailer such an alloyed joy.

Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron

Tom Hardy

Mad Max War Party

Charlize Theron

Pick up the new issue of Empire on newsstands from December 31. Mad Max: Fury Road hits UK cinemas on May 15.