'Furiosa': Everything to Know About the 'Mad Max' Prequel

From the release date to the cast, here’s everything to know about the highly anticipated Furiosa movie

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

Imperator Furiosa is back — she just looks a little different.

Following the blockbuster release of 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road, director George Miller hinted on Twitter that there was "more to come" in the franchise. Sure enough, news soon broke that there would be two new films: Mad Max: The Wasteland and an origin story for Charlize Theron's character Imperator Furiosa, appropriately named Furiosa.

Miller originally hoped to have Theron star in the prequel, portraying a younger version of the post-apocalyptic heroine. However, after considering the de-aging VFX that Martin Scorsese used for his 2019 film The Irishman, he decided against it.

"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," the director said in a May 14, 2020, interview with the New York Times. "Despite the 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."

Eventually, The Queen's Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy was cast in the role of Furiosa. On an October 2020 episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, she spoke about finding out she'd won the role. "It's difficult to put into words, I feel so humbled and grateful," Taylor-Joy said. "The first thing that went through my head when I found out I was going to do it was, 'I am so excited to work so hard. I am going to work so hard at this.' "

Thor alum Chris Hemsworth was also cast in the movie, and on June 1, 2022, the actor confirmed that filming was underway. He shared the news by posting a photo of a clapperboard on social media. "A new journey in the Mad Max saga begins #FURIOSA," he wrote on Twitter.

By Oct. 27, 2022, Taylor-Joy was able to mark the completion of her work on Furiosa by sharing photos on Instagram. In one picture, the actress looks away from the camera outside by a tree, while another snap features Miller standing beside what appears to be an airplane.

Tom Hardy Charlize Theron Mad Max
Jasin Boland/©Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection

"What. A . Rideeeee," Taylor-Joy wrote in the caption. "Thank you to those of the wasteland- the crazies who have run amok with me up and down this country. The most fun, the most resilient, the most talented."

During a Nov. 11, 2022, appearance on The Graham Norton Show, the Last Night in Soho star spoke about her experience on set, revealing that she drove a car for the first time during Furiosa stunt training.

Host Graham Norton played a video, which Taylor-Joy had previously posted on Instagram, in which the actress drives a car towards the camera and then performs a "handbrake turn," spinning the car so it stops facing the opposite direction.

"What's really crazy and slightly upsetting about that is that that's my first time in a car," Taylor-Joy told Norton. "So I don't have a license, I can't parallel-park, I can't go on the highway. I still don't have one, but I can do that. At some point that will come in handy, I'm assuming."

From the cast to the plot, here's everything to know about the highly-anticipated Mad Max prequel, Furiosa.

Who is in the cast of Furiosa?

Chris Hemsworth, Anya Taylor-Joy, Tom Burke
Theo Wargo/Getty ; Jon Kopaloff/Getty ; Sonia Recchia/Getty

On Oct. 13, 2020, Warner Bros. shared that Anya Taylor-Joy would be stepping into the role of Furiosa for the Mad Max prequel movie.

Hemsworth also joined the cast as the main villain. However, the Avenger's Endgame alum apparently wasn't the obvious choice for the role. In an excerpt from author Kyle Buchanan's book Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road, producer P. J. Voeten shared details about how Miller chose Hemsworth.

"George saw Chris initially as a courtesy and then fell in love with the idea. He's going to play totally against type, the lead baddie," Voeten recalled. "Unfortunately, we've got to find all of our other characters that aren't around anymore: a new Immortan, a new Bullet Farmer and a few others."

During a 2021 press conference for Furiosa, Hemsworth talked about his excitement for the film. "It really is, out of everything I've done, the biggest pinch-myself moment, because I've grown up watching it and it's so iconic," he said. "It is a huge honor. A lot of pressure, but exciting pressure that is certainly motivating."

Tom Burke also joined the cast when he was chosen to replace Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who left the project due to a scheduling conflict.

What has Charlize Theron said about Anya Taylor-Joy taking over her Mad Max role?

Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road. Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

Theron shared that she was disappointed that she wouldn't be reprising her role in Furiosa during a July 6, 2020, interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

"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," she added.

However, on Nov. 14, 2022, Taylor-Joy suggested that there's no bad blood between the two actresses. At the New York City premiere of The Menu, Taylor-Joy told PEOPLE that she and Theron will sit down for dinner to talk all about filming Furiosa. "Charlize was sweet enough — I think both of us ended up in a situation where we were both so respectful of each other that we didn't want to reach out prior [to filming]," she said.

"The second it was over, once this press tour is over, we're having dinner and we're going to swap war stories for sure," Taylor-Joy added.

In a Dec. 7, 2022, interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Theron explained that she understood why Taylor-Joy didn't reach out to her after accepting the role of Furiosa.

"Who wants to pick up the phone and say, like, 'Hey, we're going to go do this without you.' No one wants to do that," Theron said. "So, I totally get that. And I love George. I know I'll talk to him again. I think it was just too hard."

Later in the interview, the Monster actress said she's "not mad about" Miller following Mad Max: Fury Road with a prequel instead of a sequel. "One of the greatest f------ actresses is picking up something that I only imagined," she said in reference to Taylor-Joy.

What is Furiosa about?

Hugh Keays-Byrne Mad Max - Fury Road
Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road. Village Roadshow/Kobal/Shutterstock

In Mad Max: Fury Road, Furiosa is a war captain serving the Immortan Joe, eventually turning against him to free his female breeders. The Furiosa film will explore the character's backstory.

During a 2021 press conference, Miller hinted about the complex Furiosa storyline, saying, "The one thing I can say about it, Fury Road ... within the film, happened over three days and two nights. This is a saga, happens over many years. So, there's a lot of different elements to it."

In June 2022, an official synopsis for Furiosa was released.

"As the world fell, young Furiosa is snatched from the Green Place of Many Mothers and falls into the hands of a great Biker Horde led by the Warlord Dementus," the description read. "Sweeping through the Wasteland they come across the Citadel presided over by The Immortan Joe. While the two Tyrants war for dominance, Furiosa must survive many trials as she puts together the means to find her way home."

Who is directing Furiosa?

George Miller attends the photocall for "Three Thousand Years Of Longing (Trois Mille Ans A T'Attendre)" during the 75th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 21, 2022 in Cannes, France
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis

George Miller is directing Furiosa. He is the creator of the entire Mad Max series, which he first launched with the original film in 1979, along with producer Byron Kennedy. He then directed or co-directed three sequels: Mad Max 2 (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

He's also known for directing The Witches of Eastwick (1987) and Happy Feet (2006).

Where was Furiosa filmed?

Furiosa was filmed in Australia. This was good news for Aussie-born Hemsworth, who said working on the film in his home country was a "dream come true."

On April 18, 2021, New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian tweeted that Furiosa is "the biggest ever film to be made in Australia." She added that the project was "supporting more than 850 local jobs and bringing in $350 million to the economy."

Soon after wrapping, Taylor-Joy spoke about her experience on the Furiosa set during an interview with IndieWire. "I've been on a different planet for the last seven months," she said. "I think I need to sit down and attempt to try and digest what's happened over the last seven months. But I'm incredibly, incredibly proud of it, and so proud of all of the people I got to work with, and just the amount of love and effort and work that went into it, I'm excited to see it."

The actress added, "It's the dirtiest and the bloodiest I have ever been, which is saying something, genuinely saying something."

When will Furiosa be released?

The film will be released in theaters on May 24, 2024.

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