George Miller might be finally ready to move forward with his long-mooted Mad Max Fury Road prequel centred on Charlize Theron's Furiosa. However, there is an unexpected twist in the tale as Theron won't be reprising the role she made famous as the Furiosa movie is focusing on a younger version of the character.
Miller developed multiple Mad Max sequels during the long-gestating production of Fury Road; one would be a direct sequel that would follow Hardy's Max back into the wastelands, the other would provide an origin story for Furiosa. While it was always unclear how far back into her past the proposed film would delve, it was still believed that Theron would be back. Miller confirmed that while he initially hoped to use CGI to de-age Theron in the same way as Star War, and The Irishman has, Miller no longer believes that is viable.
“For the longest time, I thought we could just use CG de-ageing on Charlize, but I don’t think we’re nearly there yet.”
Fury Road was an audacious piece of (mostly) practical filmmaking that we hadn't seen for a long time, or indeed since. I applaud Miller for not wanting to use de-ageing technology (which still suffers from the uncanny valley) until it's at a stage where it's seamless. That said, it is difficult imagining anybody else embodying Furiosa with such conviction as Theron. The wealth of production troubles have been well documented with Theron and Hardy repeatedly clashing throughout filming. In recent times, they've opened up about their time on Mad Max;
"What she needed was a better, perhaps more experienced, partner in me. That’s something that can’t be faked. I’d like to think that now that I’m older and uglier, I could rise to that occasion.” - Tom Hardy
“In retrospect, I didn’t have enough empathy to really, truly understand what he must have felt like to step into Mel Gibson’s shoes. That is frightening! I think because of my own fear, we were putting up walls to protect ourselves instead of saying to each other, ‘This is scary for you, and it’s scary for me, too. Let’s be nice to each other.’ In a weird way, we were functioning like our characters: Everything was about survival.” - Charlize Theron
Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Split) has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the role, but nothing has been confirmed by Miller or Warner Bros. As to when we might be seeing Furiosa, prepare yourself for a wait as Miller has a whole other movie to make before he returns to the world of Mad Max.
“So, after we finish [Three Thousand Years of Longing], and hopefully everything settles down with the pandemic, we’ll see what the world allows us to do with Furiosa.”