Warner Bros. has pushed the release date of Furiosa, the anticipated prequel to the hit post-apocalyptic action film, Mad Max: Fury Road, by nearly a year. The origin story was originally slated to open in theaters on June 23, 2023 but will now be released over the Memorial Day holiday weekend on May 24, 2024, Deadline is reporting. The studio hasn’t disclosed why the drama’s distribution has been delayed for nearly a year, however.
George Miller, who co-wrote and directed the six-time Oscar-winning Mad Max: Fury Road, has returned to the popular sci-fi adventure series, which he launched with the original 1979 dystopian thriller, Mad Max, starring Mel Gibson in the tile role. The filmmaker also served as a co-scribe with Doug Mitchell, and is helming, Furiosa, which features Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role that was first played by Charlize Theron in its 2015 predecessor.
The Emmy Award-nominated Taylor-Joy will be joined by Chris Hemsworth and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II on screen in the movie. The latter is currently receiving attention for playing Young Morpheus in Warner Bros.’ anticipated sci-fi action sequel, The Matrix Resurrections.
Production on Furiosa will take place in New South Wales next year. The prequel is expected to be the biggest film production to ever take place in Australia, even beating the grandeur of the one-and-a-half-year shoot of Fury Road from 2012 through 2013. The origin story will reportedly inject at least $350M AUD into the local economy and create 850 jobs.
Since the production Furiosa was announced, the details of its plot have remained under wraps. But Miller teased to IGN this pas April that the drama’s structure will be very different from the structure of Mad Max: Fury Road.
Miller also recently revealed in the latest edition of Empire magazine that he decided to cast Taylor-Joy as Furiosa after fellow filmmaker Edgar Wright screened him an early cut of his latest movie, Last Night in Soho. The psychological horror movie also stars the Golden Globe Award-winning actress.
“I’d known about Anya but I’d never seen her in a film until I saw her in Soho,” Miller told Wright during their conversation for Empire. “And I remember thinking, ‘Gee, she’s interesting.’ I started to say to you, ‘I’m looking for someone to cast as Furiosa,’ and I barely got the sentence out before you said, ‘Don’t go any further, she’s great, she’s gonna be huge. She’s fantastic to work with.’ You were so emphatic about it,” Miller shared.
So Miller then contacted Taylor-Joy and asked her to audition for the Mad Max: Fury Road prequel virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I said to her, ‘I’d like you to do a very simple test, which is read something to camera,'” Miller said. “And it was the speech from ‘Network.’ The ‘I’m mad as hell’ speech…Anya did one version, which was really good. Then I gave her just a couple of simple notes about intention and she just absolutely nailed [it].
“I sent it to the studio. I explained why I thought she was right for the role. I said I was really happy to talk about it but it was so persuasive that we didn’t need to talk,” the Academy Award-winning filmmaker added.