You’ve got to wonder how long Deepfake spends on each video that gets pumped out, but it’s definitely worth the time most times since quite honestly it comes off almost seamless. This one of Mel Gibson taking over his role as Mad Max once again seems pretty well done, but there’s an issue with how big his face is for me to be honest since it seems too big for his head strangely enough. Apart from that it looks good enough to think that Gibson could have been in the movie instead of Hardy and all would have been just fine. In fact some people might have wanted to see such a thing happen but obviously that’s not how it went down. In fact according to Dirk Libbey of CinemaBlend it almost happened. Gibson was in line to play the part of Max once again after three decades, and then disaster struck.
The US dollar dropping in value meant that the budget for the movie that was already being planned out couldn’t proceed as was desired, and there was simply no way to cut anything that had already been conceptualized. As Reed Tucker of the New York Post wrote the disasters didn’t stop there as one of the biggest was the need to cut Gibson out of the plan entirely after his very public meltdown and continually mounting issues that just about got him kicked out of show business in a big way. Okay, so he wasn’t about to go out in such a dramatic fashion, but his career had just about hit the stage right before rock bottom and it didn’t seem as though keeping him on for a project like this would have been all that bright. Fury Road might not have grossed nearly as much as it did had Gibson been back in the titular role, though in all honesty it seems as though Tom Hardy, as great of an actor as he is, didn’t add much more to it other than his ability to show the kind of physicality that people have come to expect in these movies.
Seeing Gibson back would have been ideal in a lot of ways, but after he proved himself to be a bit unstable in his advancing years it was probably a better decision to cut him loose. B. Alan George from MovieWeb covers the story as well about how the creator of Fury Road cut Gibson loose and went with Tom Hardy in 2010. To a lot of fans this seemed like one of the strangest switches to ever come along within a movie franchise since Gibson had been Max for three full movies, and to simply replace him like this was hard to accept at first. Hardy did a pretty good job, in fact it seems that he spoke even less than Gibson in some ways, thereby allowing us to believe that Max really was the strong silent type. But for some reason Hardy’s portrayal of the character didn’t seem quite as tough. Of course that could be the thirty years in between Fury Road and the first three movies that helped to make Gibson so famous.
Like always it’s easy to give Deepfake a lot of credit for this but it does beg the question that, apart from artistic creativity, why these videos keep popping up. It almost feels as though they’re attempting to prove that they can morph just about anyone’s face onto any body and make it work, but the trick here is that it’s still not quite the same. For fun and giggles it’s great since seeing Jim Carrey’s face where Jack Nicholson’s should have been for The Shining and seeing Toby Maguire take over for Tom Holland was, well, interesting. But all in all it’s more fun than anything since if this became the industry norm in the next few decades or less it’d be kind of a sad thing to see. Thankfully the fun of it makes that kind of reality seem like a silly thing to worry over.
What would be REALLY fun to see however would be another Mad Max, this time perhaps with Hardy and Gibson, with the latter playing a villain or a useful ally in some way. Gibson has never fully recovered from the beating his reputation took at his own hands to be honest, but maybe a standout performance in the movies he helped to make would be a good way to get back in the good graces of the audience. It could happen, but it certainly wouldn’t be an easy thing to accomplish since too many people nowadays still think that he’s someone to be wary of thanks to what happened years ago. If it could happen though it would be great since he’s still a great actor.