Furiosa, George Miller’s prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road, is officially a go. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is in “advanced development” of the long-gestating film, and has cast a trio of actors: Anya Taylor-Joy (Glass), will play Furiosa, alongside Chris Hemsworth (Avengers) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen).
Mad Max: Fury Road was a major hit, upending the conventions of the franchise and proving to be one of the best action films in recent memory. Prior to the film’s release, Miller reported that he had already come up with plenty of material for other films, including one that delved into the backstory of Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, who Max (Tom Hardy) teams up with to escape from Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne).
Earlier this summer, The New York Times published a lengthy oral history of the film, as well as a followup that broke the news that while Miller would film Furiosa next, Theron wouldn’t reprise the role, and would instead be recast with a younger actress. Part of the reason was that Miller wasn’t happy with the CGI that’s been used to bring back actors from the dead (like Peter Cushing in Rogue One), or deage them (like Robert DeNiro in The Irishman). “Despite the valiant attempts on ‘The Irishman,’” he said, “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.”
Theron noted in July that the decision was “a little heartbreaking,”:
It’s a tough one to swallow. Listen, I fully respect George, if not more so in the aftermath of making Fury Road with him. He’s a master, and I wish him nothing but the best. 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.
With today’s news, it looks as though Miller has found his replacement in Taylor-Joy, who’s appeared in New Mutants, Radioactive, Glass, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, among others. She’ll have enormous shoes to fill: Theron’s Furiosa was a powerhouse character who was instantly iconic. It’s unclear what roles Hemsworth or Abdul-Mateen II will play in the film.