Fans who loved the action-packed Mad Max franchise were really excited after Mad Max: Fury Road came out in 2015. The movie was a big hit, especially because of its awesome car chases and strong female characters, like Imperator Furiosa played by Charlize Theron.

Charlize Theron in Mad Max
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road

With the upcoming release of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, fans might be wondering why Theron isn’t reprising her role as the fierce Furiosa. After all, she totally owned that character in the 2015 flick. Well, director George Miller revealed the surprising reason behind it. Even though the 48-year-old wanted to return, the Aussie filmmaker decided to cast someone totally new.

Charlize Theron Urged Furiosa Prequel Even Before Mad Max Release

Charlize Theron in Mad Max
Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road

Action star Charlize Theron was so impressed with her character Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road that she wanted a prequel film made even before the 2015 movie hit theaters. Director George Miller revealed in an interview Empire magazine that Theron actively wanted to do the part. As Miller told:

“She said, ‘Please, George, can we make this first?’ It was the first time I realized that there’s something really strong in this story.”

Also read: “I didn’t want to f—k the movie up”: Charlize Theron Was Afraid She Would Sabotage Her Own Movie That Almost Made Her Unrecognizable

This revelation is interesting because Furiosa takes place 15 years before the events of Fury Road. In fact, the script for Furiosa was originally written to help develop Theron’s character for Fury Road.

In that film, Furiosa is a fierce warrior who betrays a tyrannical leader to save a group of women. While Theron championed the prequel, it seems the timing wasn’t right. Miller ultimately decided to focus on Fury Road first.

George Miller Explains Charlize Theron’s Absence from Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Anya Taylor-Joy as Imperator Furiosa in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

George Miller initially envisioned Charlize Theron returning for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. He even shared the script with her before Fury Road‘s release. However, delays plagued the project due to studio changes at Warner Bros.

By the time Furiosa entered production, a decade had passed. While de-aging technology emerged as a potential solution, the 79-year-old director wasn’t convinced. He told Comic Book:

“My intention was that we do it, we do it next. But then we’ve now gone through the third parent company of Warner Bros. — there’s about four different regimes. That settled down by the time we got to actually do Furiosa, but the best part of a decade had gone by. And then I thought, ‘OK, we could still do it with Charlize.’ Then I saw these other movies like The Irishman, where they made people younger and particularly I saw Gemini Man. I was looking at was the technology; I wasn’t looking at performance. I thought, ‘We can’t do it.'”

This decision ultimately led Miller to find a new actress to play the younger Furiosa. Anya Taylor-Joy, known for her roles in The Witch and The Queen’s Gambit, takes on the mantle in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

Also read: After Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Craig and Charlize Theron Now Join the Hollywood Heist Gang With New Justin Lin Movie

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga hits theaters on 24 May, 2024.

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