Let’s Get Revved Up for the ‘Fury Road’ Prequel ‘Furiosa’

The first ‘Mad Max’ Cinematic Universe movie not to center on Max himself will explore the origins of Charlize Theron’s one-armed badass — now portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy

Let's Get Revved Up for the ‘Fury Road' Prequel ‘Furiosa

Everett Collection

Assuming the world hasn’t already been rendered a post-apocalyptic, scorched wasteland by May 2024 (fingers crossed!) we’ll finally get a chance to see Furiosa, the nearly-a-decade-in-the-making prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road, unequivocally one of the greatest action movies of all time. It’s set to explore the origins of Furiosa, the heroic one-armed warrior played by Charlize Theron in Fury Road, who rescues five beleaguered war brides from Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and sets in motion that movie’s breakneck vehicular mayhem.

Max heads will know Furiosa has been in development for almost as long as Fury Road has been out– actually longer, since the script was written before work concluded on the Tom Hardy-starring actioner.

This one is a prequel centered on a younger Furiosa (we’ll likely see what the mythical “Green Place of Many Mothers” looked like before it was destroyed, for example– lore, give us the lore!) and accordingly the familiar faces of Fury Road have been swapped out for similarly starry principals.

The Queen’s Gambit‘s Anya Taylor-Joy comes in for Theron as Furiosa, director George Miller being less than convinced by the credibility of CGI de-aging tech, no matter how well it worked for Martin Scorsese. And Chris Hemsworth presumably prepped his best dad bod to portray wobbly warlord Immortan Joe, replacing Brit-Aussie legend Keays-Byrne, who passed away in 2020.

Here’s everything else we know about Furiosa.

Charlize Theron was “heartbroken” about her role being recast — but she gets why

After a New York Times interview with Miller confirmed that Charlize Theron wouldn’t return as Furiosa in the Fury Road follow-up, the actor spoke of her “heartbreak” about the recasting in conversation with the Hollywood Reporter.

“It’s a tough one to swallow,” she said. “Yeah, it’s a little heartbreaking, for sure. I really love that character, and I’m so grateful that I had a small part in creating her. She will forever be someone I think of and reflect on fondly.” We wonder if Theron still has Furiosa’s mechanical arm prosthetic in the loft somewhere. Maybe it has pride of place on the mantelpiece?

Miller had looked at reuniting with Theron for Furiosa aided by CGI — which shaved the decades off Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman— but felt the technology couldn’t support an entire movie-spanning effort.

“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 told the New York Times. “Despite valiant attempts on The Irishman, I think there’s still an uncanny valley. Everyone is on the verge of solving it, particularly Japanese video game designers, but there’s still a pretty wide valley, I believe.”

In a later interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Theron confirmed that there was no bad blood between her and Miller, or indeed Taylor-Joy. “One of the greatest fucking actresses is picking up something that I only imagined,” she said.

What will Furiosa be about?

It’s the first Mad Max movie not to primarily feature Max Rockatansky himself, portrayed by Mel Gibson in the original trilogy and Tom Hardy in Fury Road, instead providing backstory for the titular Furiosa.

The official synopsis reads:

As the world fell, young Furiosa is snatched from the Green Place of Many Mothers and falls into the hands of a great Biker Horde led by the Warlord Dementus. Sweeping through the Wasteland they come across the Citadel presided over by The Immortan Joe. While the two tyrants war for dominance, Furiosa must survive many trials as she puts together the means to find her way home.

More importantly, what are the chance of a flamethrower-guitar-wielding war boy turning up in this one? They’re definitely not zero.

When will Furiosa come out?

Furiosa has been officially dated for 24 May 2024 worldwide. Further, rumours abound that it’ll head to the Croisette on the southern coast of France earlier that month for a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where Fury Road bowed eight years ago.

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