The next Mad Max Film Will Be a Fury Road Prequel Centered on a Young Furiosa
Since its release in 2015, the world has been eagerly awaiting a follow-up to 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Thanks to a recent feature in the New York Times, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’: The Oral History of a Modern Classic’, we’ve learned that the wait may soon be over.
In the years following the release of Fury Road, George Miller (the film’s writer and director), teased several possible follow-ups, including a proper sequel and a spin-off focused on the now iconic Furiosa character. According to the New York Times, Miller has officially chosen the Furious-centric film as his next Mad Max project. However, those hoping to see Charlize Theron again don her buzz cut and hand prosthetic will be disappointed.
Apparently, the film is set to focus on a younger Furiousa prior to the events of Fury Road and Miller is searching for an actress in her early 20s to portray the character. Unfortunately, at least in Miller’s estimation, de-aging technology isn’t where it needs to be for Theron to convincingly take on this role. Funny enough, Miller specifically calls out The Irishman for highlighting this technology’s shortcomings:
“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,” Miller said. “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.”https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/14/movies/mad-max-sequel-furiosa.html
What will it be about?
Miller has not revealed any story details for the film but has strongly hinted at possible routes (or roads… FURY roads if you will… ok, nevermind). One very cool tidbit revealed in Fury Road’s oral history is the fact that Miller and his co-writer, Nick Lathouris, developed backstories for nearly every character on-screen (including flamethrower guitar guy). However, much of their attention was placed on the Furiosa character specifically. They became so enamored with her and her backstory, they wrote the screenplay for a Furiosa film before Fury Road even began shooting.
Describing the aspects of Furiosa’s backstory that interested him and Theron, Miller references what her life was like in the “Green Place”, how she joined the woman warriors known as the Vuvalini, and ultimately how she became the badass we saw in Fury Road. There’s no guarantee that these stories will be the focus of Mad Max Origins: Furiosa (my suggested title!) but it seems like a strong possibility.
Based on what we saw in Fury Road and previous Mad Max films, my guess is that it’s unlikely we’d see a large sprawling origin story showing us Furiosa’s complete backstory. More likely, we’ll get a focused tale showing us one slice of Furiousa’s life at a pivotal moment in time. Something that shows us a little of where she came from and how she ends up on the path to Fury Road.
Who will play Furiosa?
This is currently an open question. We know that George Miller is seeking an actress in her early 20s and according to a recent Variety article, they’ve begun auditions over Skype. Thanks to the article, we also know that Anya Taylor-Joy was one of the actresses Miller virtually met with. She was most recently seen in Emma (and will soon supposedly be seen in The New Mutants). There’s no guarantee she’ll get the part but it at least gives us an idea of the type of actress he’s looking for.
When will it be released?
Miller is currently working on the Idris Elba, Tilda Swinton film Three Thousand Years of Longing whose production is currently on hiatus while the world deals with the pandemic. Once that film is done, Miller intends to work on the Furiosa project. So, it’s hard to say exactly when we’ll get to see this movie but we know it’s a couple of years away at least. This also lines up with reports from the same Variety article mentioned above that Miller hopes to begin shooting 2021.
Will we get a true Mad Max: Fury Road sequel as well?
Thankfully, George Miller has been pretty open about his interest in continuing the Mad Max franchise. You can find his evolving thoughts on the exact direction it’ll take through interviews released in the half-decade since Fury Road was released. One of the most recent mentions comes from an IndieWire interview where Miller said “There are two stories, both involving Mad Max, and also a Furiosa story.” So, a proper Mad Max: Fury Road sequel is definitely still on the table but if it happens, it’ll be after the Furiousa prequel.
Personally, I can’t wait to see more from the Mad Max universe. I’ll miss Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron for now, but the main draw of Fury Road were the visuals and awe-inspiring thrills. So, even if it’s a whole new cast in the world, I’ll be happy just to revisit it.