George Miller Confirms Prequel ‘Mad Max: Furiosa’ Will Be Without Charlize Theron

THere’s been a lot of talk about George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road now that we’ve hit the 5-year anniversary of that insanely great film. Also insane? The entire freakin’ production process, with so many issues both natural and manmade that it’s a wonder the movie ever got finished. But it did, and fans have been anxiously hoping all of the talk about a sequel would come to fruition. Well, Miller says it’s time to get back into the driver seat.

A New York Times followup with Miller after their epic anniversary piece from a couple of days ago (our write-up sadly vanished. Stoopid malfunctions.) confirms what has been the rumor for some time. Charlize Theron will not be coming back for the next film, a prequel centered on a young Furiosa. Recently, Anya Taylor-Joy’s name was mentioned as a likely candidate to take on the role. Killing Eve star Jodie Comer is also being talked about as a possibility. A second script centered on Furiosa had been written before filming took place on Fury Road, just to help flesh out Theron’s character who practically stole the show from Mad Max.

Miller had been in a dispute with Warner Bros. over some money he felt owed to. Those legal issues behind them now, he has been given the go-ahead to begin on Mad Max: Furiosa, and has even started the audition process. Although for a while he considered bringing Theron back and using a similar de-aging process as in The Irishman

“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.”

As for what to expect, production designer Colin Gibson says the scale will be “even more” than before. Hoping to recapture the wild look of Fury Road will be returning cinematographer John Seale, who is semi-retired and coming back just to work with Miller again…

“I’ve had wonderful opportunities to work after ‘Fury Road,’ as you can imagine, and I’ve passed on all of them,” Seale said. “But 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.”

Whoever does take the Furiosa role is going to have a tough time escaping Theron’s shadow.

Don’t expect Mad Max: Furiosa any time soon. Miller needs to first complete his delayed romance Three Thousand Years of Longing with Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.