Mad Max creator and director George Miller has revealed that he will honor Mad Max: Fury Road star Hugh Keays-Byrne in the upcoming prequel, Furiosa. Keays-Byrne, who played both Toecutter in the first Mad Max back in 1979, and Immortan Joe in 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road, sadly passed away earlier this month at the age of 73.
While George Miller was unable to reveal any details regarding the upcoming prequel, or how he would be paying tribute to Keays-Byrne, the director went on to call the actor "the glue that held the first 'Mad Max' movie together," adding, "At first I found him formidable to the point of being scary because he was so into the role. The truth is he is a warm and sweet person and so embracing of everybody...I learned acting from him, probably more than anybody else that I worked with."
Though not many will remember Toecutter, the leader of the nefarious Nightrider motorbike gang in the original Mad Max, Immortan Joe made a huge impression on audiences back in 2015. The ruler of the wasteland, the antagonist's large stature and skeleton-smile mask cut a terrifying figure, and while the plot details of Furiosa remain scarce, it's likely that the character will show up in some form in the prequel, giving Miller the perfect opportunity to honor the dearly departed Hugh Keays-Byrne and pay tribute to his Mad Max legacy.
Furiosa will follow the titular rebel warrior, with the prequel will exploring the origin of the character long before she became the inspiring operator of Immortan Joe's War Rig and joined forces with Tom Hardy's Mad Max Rockatansky. George Miller is returning to co-write, direct and produce the project alongside his long-time Oscar-nominated producing partner Doug Mitchell.
Anya Taylor-Joy has been cast in the role of the younger version of Furiosa, taking over from Mad Max: Fury Road star Charlize Theron. "The first thing that went through my head when I found out I was going to do it was,' I am so excited to work so hard,' " Taylor-Joy shared recently. "The level of commitment that has been shown before me, I endeavor to match that, and that makes me really excited."
"I fell in love with Furiosa, the way that Charlize presented her," Taylor-Joy added. "She did such an incredible job and it was so beautiful and I can't even think about trying to step [into her shoes]. It has to be something different because it just can't be done."
Along for the ride are Watchmen star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Thor's Chris Hemsworth both of whom were recently confirmed to be joining Anya Taylor-Joy in the post-apocalyptic prequel. At present, it has not been confirmed who either Abdul-Mateen or Hemsworth will be playing, however, a casting description leak claims that the latter will star as a character named Dementus, who is described as a man in his 30s-40s, is "breathtakingly handsome", and possesses "an angel's face, scarred by a deep forehead wounded stitched together with shiny chrome staples."
Currently, there is no word on when production will begin on Furiosa and Warner Bros. has not yet set a release date. Miller is currently in production on the fantastical romance Three Thousand Years of Longing starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, with Furiosa set to be his next project. This comes to us courtesy of Indiewire.