After five years of writing scripts and getting into legal tussles with studios, George Miller has locked down a prequel to his 2015 movie Fury Road as his next project.
Miller is currently on hiatus from working on Three Thousand Years of Longing, his current movie, starring Tilda Swinton and Idris Elba. The movie was deep in pre-production and cameras were ready to roll on principle photography when the pandemic stopped abruptly stopped all work on the project. The plan is to resume production when circumstances allow.
In the meantime, Miller has pulled the trigger on writing his next Mad Max universe film. After the huge success of Fury Road, he put forwards two ideas: a direct sequel (presumably retaining Tom Hardy as Max) called The Wasteland and a prequel focusing on the character of Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron. He's now decided to proceed with the Furiosa prequel.
In surprising news, though, Theron will not return. Miller wrote the script from an outline he'd prepared for Theron discussing Furiosa's backstory, which he later realised made for an excellent film outline. However, it required delving deep into Furiosa's past. Miller was hoping to use digital de-ageing technology to retain Theron in the role, but called time on that idea after watching The Irishman and declaring that the technology was not ready yet.
Miller seems quite anguished by that decision, and Theron has spent the day tweeting about her experience shooting the film and thanking Miller for his support, confirming the new film has her backing. Miller has apparently already begun outlining his choices for auditions, with Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Split, Glass) being mentioned as a possibility.
Work on the film is expected to not get underway until next year, but of course all timelines at the moment are subject to change.