In March, we reported that Furiosa, the forthcoming Mad Max: Fury Road prequel centered on the phenomenal character originally played by Charlize Theron, was eying a 2021 filming start, with director George Miller in talks with leading actors like Anya Taylor-Joy to play the new, younger version of his heroine. Now, in a chat with the New York Times, Miller and his creative team are teasing more about what we can expect from Furiosa. And, well, it sounds as wild as you’d expect.
Believe it or not, Miller and his co-writer Nick Lathouris actually wrote the Furiosa screenplay before Fury Road even began shooting. To help their creative team and performers get acclaimed to their weird, wild world, Miller and Lathouris crafted immaculate backstories for every character and facet of Fury Road (I’m gonna need any and all material on my man the Doof Warrior, stat). The work they completed about Furiosa was “purely a way of helping Charlize and explaining it to ourselves,” according to Miller. But they couldn’t help returning to Furiosa’s story again and again, finding it so compelling. Thus, they straight up wrote her screenplay in the middle of Fury Road‘s pre-production. And Rosie Huntington-Whiteley got to read it when she was cast: “It’s genius. I’ve always wondered if that movie’s going to get made.”
For some time, Miller wondered that too, as he was engaged in legal battles over unpaid Fury Road earnings with Warner Bros. But now that that’s settled, Miller has started practically thinking about it again. And it all starts with casting the younger Furiosa. While he didn’t mention Taylor-Joy in the NYT piece, he did talk about why he wants to pivot away from Theron in the first place:
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.
Frankly? I love The Irishman, but I straight up agree with Miller. Young De Niro looks weird as hell!
Miller will be re-joined by Fury Road collaborators like DP John Seale, who’s straight up coming out of retirement like some kind of “one last job” heist film protagonist (“On ‘Fury Road,’ I told George, ‘If anybody else rings, I’m retired. If you ring, we’ll have lunch.’ And seven years later, he rang”), and production designer Colin Gibson. And it is Gibson who dropped perhaps the most intriguing update.
For Fury Road, Gibson and his team designed and made 135 vehicles, 88 of which made it to the final cut. That is… an insane amount of cars. Is Furiosa interested in topping that? Here’s how Gibson phrased it: “The next possible iteration, which is on the table, has even more.” Commence drool emojis now.
Production on Furiosa will begin after Miller finishes his next project: Three Thousand Years of Longing, a fantastical, epic romance that Miller himself called “the anti-Mad Max.” That film stars Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba, and was supposed to begin shooting spring of 2020 until the coronavirus pandemic shut production down. “So after we finish it, and hopefully everything settles down with the pandemic, we’ll see what the world allows us to do with Furiosa,” concluded Miller.