In a new era of superpowered heroines, few female movie protagonists have kicked as much ass as Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, in Mad Max: Fury Road. In an interview for the New York Comic-Con, the director of the movie, George Miller, hinted that while Furiosa was the hero of his film, her future path might lie in a darker direction.
"Campbell said that the usual story is that today's hero becomes tomorrow's tyrant. The hero is the agent of change. They basically relinquish self-interest in order for some common good. [Campbell] basically says ... you love what you've built, or saved, too much. You become holdfast. You become the orthodoxy. You develop the dogma and basically then you have to protect it. That tends to be the rhythm of these things."
In Fury Road, Furiosa's goal was to save the many wives of her city's despotic ruler, Immortan Joe, from a life of slavery. Events lead to Furiosa taking on Joe's entire army, and becoming the new de facto leader of her city. Still, while the movie ended with Furiosa taking Immortan Joe's place at the head of her tribe, Miller also stated that he believes she was sensible enough to understand the lure of power and would guard against it.
"I think she's too smart to fall into that trap. She's already seen it with the Immortan Joe. I believe he went through the same process. He was probably a heroic character in his own time."
While a tale of Furiosa's possible descent into villainy would be interesting to witness, Miller's plans for the character for the present are to explore her past instead. The filmmaker has explained that he wrote a complete backstory for Furiosa before filming even began for Fury Road. After the character became wildly popular, Miller has started pre-production on a spinoff featuring a new actress in the role of a younger Furiosa, with many actresses ranging from Anya Taylor-Joy to Jodie Comer being considered for the part.
Theron was a large part of what made the character of Furiosa work. But George Miller has explained in the past that while he had initially hoped to have the actress play a younger version of the character with the help of the latest in de-aging CGI, he does not think the technology has caught up yet for the cinematic effect he wants to achieve.
"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. 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."
It seems like the perfect solution would be to make a Furriosa prequel with a younger actress as well as a sequel with Theron playing an older, possibly evil version of Furiosa. But perhaps that would be a bigger commitment than Miller's jam-packed professional schedule will currently allow.