Jeremy Renner 'Fighting' To Join George Miller's Return To 'Mad Max'

George MillerThis is purely a premature news bite. In a recent interview with his hometown newspaper, The Modesto Bee, "The Hurt Locker" star Jeremy Renner mentioned that he’s “fighting” to get a role in a new “Mad Max” movie. Renner says that he’s screen testing and taking a meeting with director George Miller for the gig, though he shares no specifics on what character he’s up for.

Given his rising status in Hollywood, it’s likely that Renner is looking to nab the lead in the fourth installment of the “Max” franchise, which reportedly will not feature original star Mel Gibson. Still, it’s not even completely known what the next installment of the series will be like. Back in May, we shared the news that Miller is prepping for the sequel, with location scouting and a tentative start planned for the end of the year.

There’s also been word recently that a fourth film would be a 3-D anime effort. The fact that Renner is doing a screen test dismisses the possibility that he’s merely auditioning for a voice role. Perhaps this is a confirmation that a live-action "Max" sequel is moving ahead? I’ll just ignore any arguments that an actor could screen test for a motion capture role in either an animated film or video game and optimistically hope that Renner will be onscreen, in the flesh, as the new Max.

I’ve been a fan of Renner for some time now, having recognized his acting talent in such diverse films as “Twelve and Holding,” “28 Weeks Later” and “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” And now with “The Hurt Locker” a modest hit, Renner has proven himself able to carry an action-packed movie while still giving a great, complex performance. Kind of like a young Mel Gibson.

Do you think Jeremy Renner could fill Mel Gibson’s boots? Are you excited about another “Mad Max”? Or, do you wish Hollywood would just leave these 80s franchises alone already?