We’ve all been eagerly awaiting a follow-up to George Miller‘s gonzo action masterpiece Mad Max: Fury Road, and it looks like we’re finally getting it. Eventually. Miller is still set to make the drama Three Thousand Years of Longing first, but after that’s in the can, he’s ready to return to the Mad Max world. And instead of a sequel, the next film is going to be a prequel focused on a younger Furiosa. This means – sadly – Charlize Theron isn’t returning.
George Miller recently spoke to the New York Times about his plans for the highly-anticipated Fury Road sequel, which it turns out is actually a prequel. The prequel will focus on Charlize Theron’s Furiosa, but since the character will be younger in this follow-up, Miller is reportedly looking for an actress in her 20s to play the role. This lines up with a rumor that was circulating recently that Anya Taylor-Joy was being considered for the part (no one has been officially cast yet).
This news is bittersweet. Look, I’m all-in on whatever the hell George Miller wants to do here. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss Theron in the role. Part of what made Furiosa so iconic was Theron’s performance, and it’s going to feel a little weird to have someone else take on the role. Of course, there’s precedent for this in the franchise, since Max was originally played by Mel Gibson before Tom Hardy stepped into the role.
Miller adds that at first he was hoping to digitally de-age Theron as Martin Scorsese did with his cast for The Irishman. But Miller changed his mind:
“For the longest time, I thought we could just use CG de-aging on Charlize, but I don’t think we’re nearly there yet. Despite the valiant attempts on The Irishman, I think there’s still an uncanny valley. Everyone is on the verge of solving it, particular Japanese video-game designers, but there’s still a pretty wide valley, I believe.”
The Furiosa prequel arises from a backstory Miller and Nick Lathouris came up with before making Fury Road. The backstory “sought to answer questions about what the character’s life was like in the idyllic Green Place, why she was plucked from the group of woman warriors known as the Vuvalini, and how she became the hardened warrior we meet by the time Fury Road begins.”
“It was purely a way of helping Charlize and explaining it to ourselves,” Miller said. Miller and Lathouris were so happy with the results that they ended up writing a Furiosa screenplay before even filming Fury Road.
Whenever Miller gets around to making this new movie, Fury Road production designer Colin Gibson will be back as well. And Gibson says that the Furiosa movie is going to be even bigger in size than Fury Road. Also back: Fury Road cinematographer John Seale, who has been in semiretirement but is happy to return to work with Miller. So while I will miss Theron – maybe she can make a cameo at the end? – I’m excited to see what madness Miller and company cook up next.
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