Charlize Theron circling female Road Warrior sequel lead role

Mel Gibson in Mad Max 2 a.k.a. The Road Warrior
Mel Gibson in Mad Max 2 a.k.a. The Road Warrior

According to E Online, Oscar-winner Charlize Theron is director George Miller’s choice to play the female lead in the upcoming long-in-development sequel to Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Mad Max 4. However, original Road Warrior Mel Gibson apparently won’t be donning any leather this time around.

When he announced that he would commence work on Mad Max 4 back in 2007, Miller admitted Gibson was too old for the antihero role of “Mad” Max, and said,

“I don’t think he would be interested in being involved at all.”

Miller has his sights set on British actor Tom Hardy (Black Hawk Down, Band of Brothers) to play opposite Theron.

According to the report, the Mad Max sequel is still a long way from actual production, and Miller is being very secretive about the roles and plot. Actors auditioning for the film have only been given a letter for their character’s name, and the studio has yet to sign off on Miller’s choices, so no formal offers have been made.

Mad Max 4 is certainly in Charlize Theron’s wheelhouse, having co-starred with Viggo Mortensen, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall, Garret Dillahunt and Brenna Roth in John Hillcoat’s The Road, which is set to be released in theaters on November 25, 2009. The Road is based on Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic tale of a man and his family trying to survive by any means possible.

Theron also recently starred in the indie drama The Burning Plain, and will be the voice of the Narrator in the David Bowers film Astro Boy, due in theaters this Friday.