The news of Charlize Theron's absence from the announced prequel was confirmed by director George Miller in May

By Alexia Fernandez
July 06, 2020 05:02 PM
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Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Mad Max fans aren't the only ones sad over Charlize Theron not being asked back to the franchise to reprise her role as Furiosa.

"It’s a tough one to swallow," Theron recently told The Hollywood Reporter when asked about the prequel movie centered around her Mad Max: Fury Road character.

Theron added, "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. She will forever be someone I think of and reflect on fondly."

The news of Theron's absence from the announced prequel was confirmed by director George Miller during an interview with The New York Times in May.

The returning director said Theron, 44, won't be starring in the movie since it follows a younger Furiosa, though he previously considered casting the Oscar winner and using CGI to de-age her. Now, Miller is looking to cast the role of a young Furiosa with an actress in her twenties, the Times reported.

"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 valiant attempts on The Irishman, I think there’s still an uncanny valley. Everyone is on the verge of solving it, particularly Japanese video-game designers, but there’s still a pretty wide valley, I believe.”

Miller, 75, created the franchise beginning with Mad Max (1979), Mad Max 2 (1981) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), which all starred Mel Gibson in the leading role. His 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road followed Max (played by Tom Hardy) as he helped Furiosa, a fierce rig driver, in a war against the tyrant Immortan Joe.

The movie remains a fan-favorite and is considered one of the greatest action films of all time, winning six Oscars in 2016.

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
Warner Bros. Pictures

But fans might have to wait longer to ever see the prequel in theaters.

The director said he hopes to begin making the Furiosa prequel after he completes Three Thousand Years of Longing starring Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba. Despite his plans to begin shooting this spring, production was delayed due to the coronavirus.

“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,” Miller told the Times.

A script has already been written, however, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is one of the lucky few who have read Miller’s prequel script. The actress played Splendid, a wife of Immortan Joe in Fury Road.

“I got to read it when I was cast,” she told the newspaper. “It’s genius. I’ve always wondered if that movie’s going to get made.”

While it’s unclear who might have to step into Theron’s shoes for the prequel, one thing is for sure: There’ll be more rigs in the new movie.

Oscar-winning production designer Colin Gibson told the Times the scale for the prequel would certainly be bigger than Fury Road, which had 88 vehicles onscreen out of the 135 that were made.

“The next possible iteration, which is on the table, has even more,” Gibson said.

Obviously, I would love to see that story continue, and if he feels like he has to go about it this way, then I trust him in that manner. We get so hung up on the smaller details that we forget the thing that we emotionally tap into has nothing to do with that minute thing that we’re focusing on.”

“Listen, I fully respect George, if not more so in the aftermath of making that film with him. He’s a master, and I wish him nothing but the best.”