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Anya Taylor-Joy in 'Furiosa' (2024) | Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Mad Max Prequel ‘Furiosa’: Release Date, Cast, Trailer and More

Can Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga possibly live up to its Oscar-winning and genre-defining predecessor, Mad Max: Fury Road? It’s a tall order, but if the second trailer for this highly anticipated prequel is anything to go by, George Miller—the franchise’s writer, director, and all ‘round Immortan Joe-level overseer—may have done it again when the film hits cinemas on 24 May 2024.

Mel Gibson in 'Mad Max' (1979) | Image: Roadshow Film Distributors
Mel Gibson in ‘Mad Max’ (1979) | Image: Roadshow Film Distributors

Since the early 1980s, action fans have been obsessed with George Miller’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick, Mad Max. While a modest budget and some questionable costumes plagued the early reviews of the Australian film, it went on to gain cult-status shooting star Mel Gibson into the limelight and created an incredible franchise in the process.

When the series was revived in 2015 for Mad Max: Fury Road, fans of the original were sceptical it would have the same heart and appeal that the original films did. Ten nominations and six Academy Awards later, and it’s safe to say the reimagining was a success. But much of Fury Road’s appeal came from a character that offered few words but an intriguing backstory that was hardly explored. Imperator Furiosa, played by Oscar-winner Charlize Theron, captivates the screen, prompting questions about her origins and what interesting mysteries may surround the character.

George Miller and company are now adding a Mad Max prequel to the bill. So, what do we know about Furiosa so far? Here is a rundown on the Furiosa release date, cast, plot and production.

Anya Taylor-Joy in 'Furiosa' (2024) | Image: Warner Bros.
Anya Taylor-Joy in ‘Furiosa’ (2024) | Image: Warner Bros.

What We Think the Furiosa Will Be About

The synopsis reads: “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. 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.”

Filmmaker George Miller penned the script with Mad Max: Fury Road co-writer Nico Lathouris and produces it alongside his longtime partner, Oscar-nominated producer Doug Mitchell (Mad Max: Fury Road, Babe). The new feature is being produced by Miller’s own Australian-based Kennedy Miller Mitchell banner, together with the filmmaker’s Fury Road partners Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures.

“I’ll tell you how it’s going when it’s finished, but it has got off to a lovely start,” director George Miller told Deadline in a recent interview. “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.”

In its simplest form, Furiosa will be a retelling of Furiosa’ origins as the leader of the roving matriarchal warrior tribe, known as the Vuvalini. Furiosa’s arc will inevitably end with her caught under the direction of warlord Immortan Joe, as seen in Mad Max: Fury Road, where she served as Imperator. The biggest question of all surrounding the prequel involves that menacing-looking robotic arm. A mix of speculation and quiet optimism has us hoping the Mad Max prequel may provide some insights.

Chris Hemsworth in 'Furiosa' (2024) | Image: Warner Bros.
Chris Hemsworth in ‘Furiosa’ (2024) | Image: Warner Bros.

Furiosa Cast

While Charlize Theron was heralded for her performance as the rebel leader in Mad Max: Fury Road, early reports suggested that she would not be reprising the role in the Furiosa prequel. This was later confirmed by Miller in the NYT article, putting an end to long-held rumours that they would digitally de-age her, using a process seen in The Irishman and Star Wars Rogue One.

“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,” Miller said. “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.”

Charlize Theron played Furiosa in 2015's 'Mad Max: Fury Road' | Image: Warner Bros. Pictures
Charlize Theron played Furiosa in 2015’s ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ | Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

It was later revealed that The Queen’s Gambit and The Witch star Anya Taylor-Joy had been cast in the anti-hero role, with Australian Chris Hemsworth to play the hulking villain, Dr. Dementus. Game of Thrones and Bodyguard‘s Richard Madden had been linked to the role, but it was the Thor actor who emerged victorious. Internet news source The Geeks WorldWide is reporting that the Dementus character is described as “breathtakingly handsome. An angel’s face, scarred by a deep forehead wound stitched together with shiny staples.”

At the time, Theron expressed deep sorrow over the decision to recast the character, describing it as “heartbreaking”, while Taylor-Joy conveyed her immense enthusiasm, sharing that she was eagerly embracing the character and had already started envisioning her portrayal. Meanwhile, Chris Hemsworth is showcasing a departure from his usual roles and was described as playing “totally against type” as the main villain.

The full Furiosa cast includes:

  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Imperator Furiosa
  • Alyla Browne as young Furiosa
  • Chris Hemsworth as Warlord Dementus
  • Tom Burke as Praetorian Jack
  • Lachy Hulme as Immortan Joe / Rizzdale Pell
  • Nathan Jones as Rictus Erectus
  • John Howard as The People Eater
  • Angus Sampson as The Organic Mechanic
  • Charlee Fraser as Mary Jo Bassa, Furiosa’s mother
  • Quaden Bayles
  • Daniel Webber as War Boy
Furiosa a mad max saga 6
Digging Hemsworth’s motorcycle chariot | Image: Warner Bros.

Furiosa Trailer

In December 2023, fans of the iconic action franchise were treated to a glimpse of Anya Taylor-Joy as a younger version of Charlize Theron’s wasteland heroine, alongside Chris Hemsworth’s unrecognisable portrayal as the unhinged antagonist, Dementus.

Following the reveal at CCXP, Warner Bros. Pictures has officially premiered the teaser for George Miller’s Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, the upcoming prequel to 2015’s Fury Road. The film will detail Furiosa’s (Taylor-Joy) arduous journey home, after she was captured from the Green Place of Many Mothers and is held by the Biker Horde led by Warlord Dementus (Hemsworth).

However, the visuals in the trailer raised concerns within online communities, with many viewers complaining about the absence of “practical elements”.

One Reddit user said: “I hate to say it, but that wasn’t a good trailer IMO. The CGI looked very, very rough”. Another commented: “Definitely looking a bit more CGI-reliant than Fury Road. COVID probably hit pre-production hard.”

One user wrote: “Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the hardest shoots in Hollywood history. It looks like George and WB went with a more traditional (and safer) way of making this film.” However, others pushed back against the criticism telling the haters to stop complaining and “let George Miler cook”.

With a better sense of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’s plot than the first trailer, we’re now given a glimpse into how the title character (played here by Anya Taylor-Joy) became the fearsome desert warrior Charlize Theron embodied in Fury Road. From the childhood tragedy that forced her from the Green Place to her ultimate arrival at Immortan Joe’s citadel, it’s clear that wherever Furiosa goes, she brings a whole lot of manic, vehicle-based carnage with her. Plus, we imagine the film will show us how she ended up with that handy (…) metal arm at some point. 

The new trailer also delivers a more in-depth look at Chris Hemsworth as the Warlord Dementus—the film’s primary antagonist—and his Biker Horde. In addition to his outlandish wardrobe, hair, and impressive prosthetic nose, we’re struck by his voice.

Gone is the deep, neutral tone Hemsworth has adopted for his Thor appearances, replaced with a broad, nasal Australian accent that’s reminiscent of characters from the original Mad Max, which was released all the way back in 1979. While it may shock overseas audiences, we think it’s a welcome addition to a franchise that—disappointingly—seems to be embracing more American accents.

First set images of 'Furiosa' | Image: Cinema Solace/X (formerly Twitter)
First set images of ‘Furiosa’ | Image: Cinema Solace/X (formerly Twitter)

First Set Images

Further to that, images of the set location in New South Wales, Australia surfaced online, showing production for the project. Filming occurred in late 2022 in New South Wales, Australia, marking the largest film production in the country’s history. A reported sum of USD$233 million was expended on the production within Australia.

Furiosa Release Date

For fans champing at the bit for a Mad Max prequel, the Furiosa release date is 24 May 2024. It has been a lengthy wait, but not nearly as long as the Fury Road one. Miller had previously been prioritising fantasy film Three Thousand Years of Longing, starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, however, the production had been pushed back due to COVID-19 complications.

“So, after we finish (Three Thousand Years of Longing), and hopefully everything settles down with the pandemic, we’ll see what the world allows us to do with Furiosa.”

With expectations high and an all-star cast on board to helm the biggest Australian production in history, Furiosa’s interest is at a fever pitch. But if the 2015 film’s $375 million gross, 10 Oscar nominations and six wins are anything to go by, it could be well worth the wait.