Will Charlize Theron be the next Mad Max?

The Australian outback is pretty darned hot. But it will get a lot hotter if director George Miller has his way.

E! News reports rumors that Oscar-winner Charlize Theron will star in the fourth installment of the Mad Max franchise.

That's the good news. Here's the bad news:

When he announced that he would begin work on the sequel back in 2007, Miller admitted Gibson was too old for the antihero role of "Mad" Max Rockatansky, and said, "I don't think he would be interested in being involved at all."

Charlize in pleather, kicking ass? Sign us up! But it's mind-boggling that anyone could conceive of the franchise without Mel Gibson.

Miller is also considering British actor Tom Hardy (Black Hawk Down, Band of Brothers) to co-star, opposite Theron.

Miller is keeping everything a secret, though, going so far as to only give auditioning actors a letter of their character's name. No formal offers have been made.

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