After his breakout performance in 2018's Aquaman, actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been joining a number of beloved and iconic franchises, but one he will no longer be venturing into is the Mad Max series, with Deadline reporting that the actor has left the upcoming prequel Mad Max: Furiosa. The actor is reportedly leaving the role due to scheduling conflicts, and while the details of the project he's leaving for haven't been revealed, the outlet claims their sources noted it was a passion project he had been developing for quite some time. It's also unknown what his role in the Mad Max film would have been, though Tom Burke has now been cast in the role.
Back in 2015, Mad Max: Fury Road completely revived the franchise, thanks in large part not only to the impressive stunts in the film, but also thanks to the introduction of Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa, allowing the titular Max to take more of a backseat to the narrative. The upcoming film is set to explore the earlier years of the character, with Anya Taylor-Joy taking over the role. Joining her will also be Chris Hemsworth in an unknown role.
Recent years have seen Taylor-Joy become one of the most sought-after performers of her generation, with her interest in various endeavors also making her one of the busiest, often taking projects back to back and with little downtime in between. The upcoming prequel is set to start production sometime next year, though its release date was recently pushed back to May 24, 2024, having previously earned a June 23, 2023 release date.
This past summer, Taylor-Joy addressed not just her hectic work schedule, but also what excited her about the upcoming Mad Max project.
"I've got a grace period until August, and then I will be working back to back until mid-2023," Taylor-Joy shared during a conversation hosted by Variety. "Hear me out about this. Everyone thought I was mental doing Emma, [Edgar Wright's Last Night in Soho], and Queen's Gambit. And to be fair, I was. I recognize that. It was a wild thing to do, but I had to do it. I've realized now how unhealthy I am, and the way that I'm thinking about it is if I can get a routine where I exist off of something other than Diet Coke and cigarettes and I can do this and be happier."
She continued, "The thing that makes me most excited about Furiosa is, No. 1, George Miller. That brain is incredible. I'm also really excited to do something physical. To physically become something else is something that will weirdly give me a lot of peace."
Stay tuned for updates on Mad Max: Furiosa before it hits theaters on May 24, 2024.
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