It’s a lovely day, and prepare for more to come. Warner Bros. has officially set the release date for their “Mad Max: Fury Road” prequel titled “Furiosa” that will be directed by George Miller.
A prequel set much earlier than the evens of ‘Fury Road,’ ‘Furiosa’ will be released on June 23, 2023. The cast includes Anya Taylor-Joy taking over the titular role from Charlize Theron with other roles going to Chris Hemsworth and Yayha Abdul-Mateen II.
The new release date would suggest that filming likely won’t begin until 2022 as director George Miller is currently busy with his fantasy film “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton.
The Furiosa character was first introduced in 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” alongside Tom Hardy‘s rebooted Max Rockatansky character. The film debuted at Cannes in 2015, and grossed $375.2 million worldwide, but was only considered a mild financial success as the budget reportedly ballooned far past the studio-announced $185 million mark thanks to delays and in-fighting between the two leads Hardy and Theron (they’ve since kissed and made up, but reports from the set were rough). Hardy’s Rockatasnsky character, even a younger version, is not expected to appear in ‘Furiosa.’
Additionally, Warners have dated a live-action CG hybrid “Coyote vs. Acme” Looney Tunes film, set for July 21, 2023, and a new version of “The Color Purple” for Dec. 20, 2023. All of these films are expected to be theatrical releases that will not debut on HBO Max, unlike the 2021 Warner’s schedule that will see a day-and-date release on the streaming service and where theaters are available.
Miller had been trying to develop two different sequels to “Mad Max: Fury Road.” One, a direct sequel that would likely feature Tom Hardy’s return alongside the “Furosia” movie. He wrote both of them during the extended hiatus of the “Fury Road” production that was delayed multiple times due to various hiccups like weather and budget delays. “Furosia” will be a prequel focusing on a young Furosia. It took place far enough in the past; it made Miller uncomfortable with the idea of using visual effects to de-age Charlize Theron so she could continue in the role. Taylor-Joy is a timely replacement. She recently exploded in popularity thanks to her lead role in the breakout Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit,” before that turning heads with an early breakthrough role in Robert Eggers‘ horror film “The Witch” (2015).
Warner Bros. has been keen to get some of their more popular mature I.P.s up and running in recent years, such as Lana Wachowski‘s recently-wrapped “The Matrix 4” starring Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Ann Moss. It’ll be curious to see if Miller ultimately makes his “Mad Max: Fury Road” follow-up with Hardy or stops with “Furiosa.”
Here’s the original “Mad Max: Fury Road” trailer.