Though he is primarily known for his work as the “Rap God,” Eminem has also had a brief but illustrious career on the big screen. The hip-hop iconoclast has even won an Oscar for best original song in his semi-autobiographical film, 8 Mile, which he starred in alongside Anthony Mackie, Mekhi Phifer, and Brittany Murphy. According to a recent write-up from Collider, Eminem was also set to star in another more recent blockbuster, as Max Rockatansky in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. \
Eminem was George Miller’s first choice for Mad Max: Fury Road, coming in over Armie Hammer, and even Tom Hardy.
Apparently, Fury Road‘s writer and director George Miller had chosen Eminem as his first pick for Mad Max, ranking above other prominent A-list actors such as Armie Hammer and Jeremy Renner. Since the real Slim Shady’s debut performance in 2002’s 8 Mile, he has been keen to say goodbye to Hollywood, making him completely untouchable to the droves of filmmakers trying to get the superstar in their cast when the music stops.
Long before Eminem had been approached to star in Mad Max: Fury Road, the Detroit rap legend had already turned down a number of other roles in high-budget Hollywood films, including 2001’s Training Day, 2008’s Jumper, and even the original The Fast and the Furious film from 2001.
Eminem’s primary motivation behind refusing to appear in these films appears to lie in his unwillingness to spend time away from his family.
Unfortunately, Mr. Mathers was unaccommodating to the requests from these filmmakers, partially because he was battling a serious drug addiction throughout those years, and had been significantly under the influence while the films were set to shoot.
Luckily, the rapper said farewell to these opportunities before he got in too deep, and managed to find sobriety as of April of 2008, a fact which he routinely references in his lengthy discography. Since then, Eminem has still refused to put down his book of rhymes to appear in other roles, such as those in Mad Max: Fury Road and in Neill Blomkamp’s 2013 film Elysium.
Eminem’s primary motivation behind refusing to appear in these films appears to lie in his unwillingness to spend time away from his family in Detroit, Michigan, causing the rapper to only sign on for brief cameo appearances in Hollywood productions.
Eminem has appeared in a number of small roles in television and film productions in the years following the success of 8 Mile, including Seth Rogen comedies such as The Interview and Funny People, and television series including Entourage and BMF.
George Miller specified that he believed Eminem would have agreed to appear in Mad Max: Fury Road if they could have moved the production to Detroit, though that obviously wasn’t an opportunity that could accommodate the film’s script.
George Miller wanted to bring on Eminem’s collaborator, Rihanna, for Mad Max: Fury Road.
Apparently, Eminem wasn’t the only music star tapped to join the cast of Mad Max: Fury Road, as George Miller also explained his initial desire to sign frequent Eminem collaborator Rihanna onto the project, following her success in film appearances such as Battleship, Annie, and This Is The End.
Rihanna apparently did not sign onto the project for unknown reasons, though she did reportedly take a meeting to discuss the film with George Miller and his team of producers.
In the end, perhaps it’s for the best that Eminem didn’t take on the role, as it’s hard to imagine anybody outperforming the tour de force displayed in Mad Max: Fury Road by Tom Hardy. Of course, Eminem’s performance probably wouldn’t have been so bad, as his millions of fans would have gone berserk to see him appear in the film. While there’s no telling how the leading role could have impacted his legacy, Eminem has refrained from venturing back into the movie business.