Director George Miller still plans to return to the post-apocalypse for a direct sequel to Mad Max: Fury Road. Miller debuted his latest film, 3000 Years of Longing, at Cannes, and will begin principal photography for the Fury Road prequel Furiosa later this year. As for Mad Max's future, Miller still has another story to tell, known by the working title Mad Max: The Wasteland, though the when and the who remain uncertain, as even Tom Hardy's return as Max Rocktansky isn't guaranteed. "We do have another story but it's still not fully evolved," Miller tells Variety at Cannes. "We'll see further down the chain."
The Mad Max series began in 1979 and originally spanned a trilogy starring Mel Gibson in the lead role, ending with 1985's Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Three decades later, Miller brought the franchise roaring back to life with Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Hardy as Max and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa. Anya Taylor-Joy will play Furiosa in the upcoming prequel.
"I'll tell you how it's going when it's finished, but it has got off to a lovely start," Miller told Deadline of the prequel after second unit filming began in Australia. "All I can say about my excitement about doing it is that it's definitely exciting, because even though it's certainly of that world of Fury Road, it's also got a lot of the differences we've been talking about. Again, it's uniquely familiar. And probably the biggest difference is the timespan. Fury Road happened over three days and two nights and this one happens over 15 years. So, it's a saga."
Joining Taylor-Joy are Chris Hemsworth as the film's villain and Tom Burke, replacing Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. "It's a huge honor," Hemsworth said in a press release. "A lot of pressure but exciting pressure that is certainly motivating."
Little is known about Furiosa's life before Fury Road other than that she and her mother were kidnapped from The Green Place and that somehow led her into Immortan Joe's service. That makes it hard to know what to expect from the upcoming prequel saga.
"Whereas Fury Road essentially happened over three days and two nights, this happens over many years," Miller said in a press release. "You try to make films that are uniquely familiar. This will be familiar to those people who know Mad Max, and in particular Fury Road, but also it will be unique."
Furiosa will open in theaters on May 24, 2024.