Tom Hardy graces the cover of Empire Magazine's February 2015 issue as the iconic Max Rockatansky from the highly-anticipated sequel Mad Max: Fury Road. These images come just a few weeks after the buzzed-about second trailer for writer-director George Miller's sequel, which is shaping up to be one of 2015's most anticipated movies. The story centers on Rockatansky, who meets up with Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa, both of whom have a common enemy in a savage warlord. However, before they join forces, they must do battle themselves in this apocalyptic wasteland. Here's what the director had to say about their battle, during an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

"This is not just two people standing there punching each other. This is a question of which one of them is going to survive."

The filmmaker also added a story from the set, where he was riding on the war rig being driven by Charlize Theron, when he truly realized that he made the right choice in casting her.

"Charlize was driving the war rig back to base camp, and I was sitting in the cabin behind her. I remember thinking, 'She is the Imperator, and if this was a real wasteland and we were at war, I'd be really happy she's on our side.'"'/quote

Check out the Empire magazine covers below, and we'll be sure to keep you posted as soon as more information or footage arrives from Mad Max: Fury Road. This sequel, which co-stars Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoë Kravitz, Riley Keough, Josh Helman, Nathan Jones and Angus Sampson, hits theaters nationwide on May 15, 2015.

Mad Max Fury Road Empire Cover 1
Mad Max Fury Road Empire Cover 2