Furiosa director George Miller revealed that the script for the film had mostly been written before they even shot Mad Max: Fury Road. Fury Road, which came to theaters in the summer of 2015, was the fourth entry in the long-running post-apocalyptic Mad Max franchise, coming many years after the last entry, 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The movie follows Max (now played by Tom Hardy rather than Mel Gibson, who played the character from 1979 through 1985) as he meets Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a warrior who works for the vicious dictator Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Max and Furiosa eventually team up to help smuggle Immortan Joe’s harem of wives out of his desert citadel, triggering an action-packed film-long chase through the irradiated desert that earned Mad Max: Fury Road a Best Picture nomination.
Furiosa, which is currently shooting in Australia, is a prequel telling the story of Furiosa before she ever met Max. While not many plot details have been revealed about the film so far, it is known that The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy will be playing the role of a younger Furiosa as she is taken from her home and forced to work for the biker gang run by Warlord Dementus. She will be accompanied by Thor: Love and Thunder star Chris Hemsworth as an unspecified villain (possibly Dementus), along with an ensemble cast that includes Tom Burke, Quaden Bayles, and returning Fury Road players Angus Sampson as The Organic Mechanic and Nathan Jones as Rictus Erectus.
Recently, The AV Club had the opportunity to speak with Miller about his new film Three Thousand Years of Longing. The conversation quickly turned to his progress on the new Mad Max prequel. He discussed the development of the film, explaining that while they were writing Mad Max: Fury Road, they came up with an entire backstory for Furiosa to help explain the character to Theron. Although „there were very few moments of quiet“ in Fury Road so they didn’t get to include her backstory explicitly in the film, they had compiled so much that they „had the screenplay virtually complete before we shot Fury Road.“ Read his full quote below:
„When we wrote Mad Max, the task was to tell a story that was always on the run and to see how much the audience could pick up in passing. That was one of the tricks of Mad Max: Fury Road, that there would be references to things of where she’s from, why they’re doing things, but it was always on the run. There were very few moments of quiet. We never explained how she lost her arm. We never explain what the actual Green Place Of Many Mothers was.
„We never explained the workings of the Citadel. So we had the screenplay virtually complete before we shot Fury Road, and we did it because it arose out of wanting to explain to everybody who Furiosa was—to Charlize when she took on the role, and to all the actors and the designers and everybody else working on the Citadel and so on. The feeling was, gee, this is a pretty good screenplay, and then I kept saying to myself, ‚if Fury Road works, I’d really like to tell this story.'“
This revelation certainly shows how deeply interrelated this film will be with Fury Road, even with another star stepping into the lead role. Though it will have been nearly a decade since that film when Furiosa actually gets released (that is, if it hits its currently planned date of May 24, 2024), the fact that it was developed at the same time should belie the fact that it likely shares the same energy as Fury Road. Those who were worried that a prequel might undermine the things they love about that film can rest easy knowing it’s coming from the exact same creative instincts that led to the 2015 entry.
One other thing to remember is that the Mad Max franchise is always full of surprises. Mad Max: Fury Road wasn’t always a minted classic, as fans worried that recasting the title character 30 years later would lead to a watered-down product. That certainly wasn’t the case in 2015, so hopefully audiences will feel the same way when Furiosa comes zooming into theaters.
Source: The AV Club