George Miller to Direct “Mad Max: Fury Road” Prequel Centered on Furiosa
Just absolutely phenomenal news. In case you missed this yesterday, the great George Miller is following up Mad Max: Fury Road—one of this century’s best action films—with a prequel centered on Furiosa, the indomitable character played by Charlize Theron. Miller is directing and producing from a script he co-wrote with Nick Lathouris, and his stars are Anya Taylor-Joy as the young Furiosa, Chris Hemsworth, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
The news that Taylor-Joy, Hemsworth, and Abdul-Mateen II have been cast means that this long-simmering project is that much closer to becoming a reality. Miller has been saying for years that he wanted to dig deeper into Furiosa’s character and revisit the scorched post-apocalyptic world he so vividly brought back to life in 2015’s Fury Road. There is no word yet who Hemsworth or Abdul-Mateen II are playing, or what the film’s timetable will be, but there’s momentum. We know that Hemsworth begins shooting Thor: Love and Thunder in January, meaning the prequel likely wouldn’t be able to start filming until after that.
Miller’s Oscar-winning Mad Max: Fury Road was a mind-blowing achievement on nearly every level—practical stunts, cinematography, a tight, pedal-to-the-metal storyline, and in general the kind of go-for-broke chutzpah you don’t see all that often. Fans were almost immediately clamoring for more, and the character they most wanted to continue the storyline wasn’t Tom Hardy’s Max Rockatansky but Theron’s Furiosa. Miller had revealed that he’d already dreamed up an origin story for the character, but one thing you can be sure of is it likely won’t follow any typical origin story template.
One reason to assume that the Furiosa prequel won’t solely follow the young Furiosa’s journey to becoming the one-armed warrior she came to be is what happened in Fury Road. Most of us thought that film would be focused on Hardy’s Max, yet Miller’s scope was so much larger than that. Not only was Furiosa a huge part of the story, but there were a bunch of characters who all seemed worthy of their own film. Nicholas Hoult’s Nux, Hugh Keays-Byrne’s terrifying Immortan Joe, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s The Splendid Angharad popped off the screen. There’s every likelihood that Miller will invest similar energy into the supporting characters around Furiosa, and with talent like Hemsworth and Abdul-Mateen II on board, he’d be crazy not to.
We also learned some intriguing nuggets about Furiosa’s past in Fury Road. We know her mother had been kidnapped from the matriarchal society she was raising Furiosa in, and that after her mother died, Furiosa was forced to be one of Immortan Joe’s wives. It wasn’t until she was discovered to be unable to have a child that she was handed off Immortan Joe’s Imperator and trained to become the warrior we met at the outset of the film.
In a way, Fury Road was terrifyingly prescient. Yes, it presented the blasted, brutal world Miller had revealed in his three previous Mad Max films, but in Immortan Joe it gave us a sickly, deranged lunatic dictator clinging to power. He was aided and abetted by his own power-mad family and a cabal of sycophants happy to watch the world burn so long as they remained close to that power. And it wasn’t Max who set out to destroy this diseased world order, but Furiosa, and through their combined efforts (with plenty of help along the way), they took down Immortan Joe and set the stage for a more just world. For someone as gifted as Miller, there’s every reason to believe his prequel won’t simply reveal how Furiosa came to be, but where we all might be heading next.
Featured image: HOLLYWOOD, CA – MAY 07: Writer/Director/Producer George Miller attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Mad Max: Fury Road” at TCL Chinese Theatre on May 7, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)