The Mad Max movies that filmmaker George Miller has been making for decades now have become their own genre of films, and inspired countless knock-offs and parodies. Most of the story in Miller's world of Mad Max takes place over a few days, as the titular character tries to keep himself alive in an unforgiving post-apocalyptic desert wasteland. But now, Miller seems ready to dive deeper into that world with the upcoming prequel, Mad Max: Furiosa. In a recent interview, Miller stated that the film's timeline will span several years.
"I didn't set out to make a big, epic movie. It's a story I wanted to tell. But as it turns out, it's just got a lot of different scenes. The one thing I can say about it is, Fury Road happened over three days and two nights, but this is a saga. It happens over many years. So there's a lot of different elements to it."
As the title suggests, Mad Max: Furiosa will shift the focus away from Max Rockatansky and towards Imperator Furiosa, Immortan Joe's henchwoman-turned-rebel. Although a supporting character in Max Max: Fury Road, Charlize Theron's Furiosa was the breakout character of the movie, so much so that, despite having two more Mad Max movies planned, Miller decided to start work on the Furiosa spinoff instead.
While the general assumption was that Theron would return in the role of Furiosa, it was revealed last year that up-and-coming star Anya Taylor-Joy will be playing the lead as a younger version of Furiosa, long before she met Max.
The development of Mad Max: Furiosa has not been without its own challenges. There were lawsuits involved, claims of unpaid bills from an Australian co-production company leveled at Warner Bros., and issues over the film's shoot in Australia, set to be the biggest movie production project that the country has ever hosted. In another interview, Miller seemed hopeful that work on the movie could begin again, and more smoothly this time, to make another worthy addition to the Mad Max franchise.
"Since we started Fury Road I think there's been six different regimes at Warner Bros. Now it's stabilised very much and they're able to basically pay attention coherently to the films they want to make and this is one of them... You try to make films that are 'uniquely familiar'. This will be familiar to those people who know Mad Max, and in particular Fury Road, but also it will be unique."
While it will be strange to see a Mad Max movie without the titular gruff and battle-weary protagonist once again in the lead, fans are excited to see Miller's expansion of the world he created all the way back in 1979. Helmed by Miller, Mad Max: Furiosa features a lead casting consisting of Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. The film is currently set to debut on June 23, 2023.