Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the most epic movies of the past decade, maybe ever. Sprawling apocalyptic wastelands, crazy-looking rusted war vehicles, and also messaging about caring for society in the wake of untold tragedy? Yeah, sign us up. But director George Miller has had another idea up his sleeve for the Mad Max franchise since before Fury Road -- a prequel focused on the heroine Furiosa. This sounds about as good of an idea as making a prequel to Magic Mike.
Miller apparently wrote this story and gave it to Furiosa actress Charlize Theron before filming Fury Road so that she'd have a better understanding of the character. Miller also wanted to bring Theron in and "de-age" her with CGI a la The Irishman but had the good sense to realize what a terrible idea using that technology would be.
Almost inexplicably, however, he's decided to just not cast Theron at all. For starters, the idea that she can't play younger is ridiculous. It's not like she's Taken 3 era Liam Neeson, in need of rapid editing to cover his struggles in hopping a fence.
Theron is in her 40s and still kicking ass all over the screen. It makes no sense unless Miller is aiming for a teenager. Which he might be since he's reportedly screen-tested Anya Taylor-Joy. The problem with that is that Furiosa is around the same age as Max, meaning that she have been a young adult before this apocalypse. From a strictly visual standpoint, is that something we want to see? "Normal Earth?" Oooh, witness the Doof Warrior back when he was a shitty sidewalk musician playing "Wonderwall" for tourists!
Then, we get the actual apocalypse itself. Water shortages, explodey shit, the whole nine yards. Action, baby! Except, for Furiosa, this is absolute hell. There is literally zero chance this prequel has a happy ending because look at where she starts in Fury Road -- she's climbed her way through the ranks and is deeply embedded in Immortan Joe's inner circle, enough so that she can help bust some of his wives out and escape.
Do we need to see a young girl beaten and abused until she's plotting revenge? Worse, getting in deep with Joe is probably not unlike becoming family in the mafia -- we might have to witness her doing some terrible shit in order to prove herself. And sure, all this bad stuff is probably what inspires her to become the certified tour de force that she is in Fury Road, but it's almost better for the franchise if all that stuff is implied and/or hinted at. And that's what Fury Road did -- hint at that stuff without getting into a completely depressing amount of detail.
This should have been a sequel, with Theron back as Furiosa, about trying to keep trash people from gunning for her post-Fury Road liberated city. Miller makes great action movies and tells great stories, but if he's really gotta do a prequel maybe hit up Babe?
Top Image: Mad Max: Fury Road/Warner Bros.