“Mad Max” director George Miller confirmed in May that he was moving ahead on his “Fury Road” spinoff centered around Furiosa, but the project isn’t going to star the actress that helped make the character one of cinema’s most iconic action heroines. Charlize Theron is sitting the Furiosa movie out because it’s going to be a prequel focused on a younger iteration of the character. Miller has already ruled out de-aging Theron with VFX. How does Theron feel about the casting change? Bittersweet.
“It’s a tough one to swallow,” Theron told THR when asked about the Furiosa prequel movie. “Listen, I fully respect George, if not more so in the aftermath of making that film with him. He’s a master, and I wish him nothing but the best.”
Theron added, “Yeah, it’s a little heartbreaking, for sure. I really love that character, and I’m so grateful that I had a small part in creating her. She will forever be someone I think of and reflect on fondly. Obviously, I would love to see that story continue, and if he feels like he has to go about it this way, then I trust him in that manner. We get so hung up on the smaller details that we forget the thing that we emotionally tap into has nothing to do with that minute thing that we’re focusing on.”
News got out in March that Miller had conversations with “The Witch” favorite Anya Taylor-Joy about the Furiosa prequel, although no casting decision has been made official. The director said in May that he originally intended to make a Furiosa prequel using the same kind of de-aging VFX technology that Martin Scorsese used in “The Irishman” so that Theron could return as a younger Furiosa. Miller nixed the plan because he’s not sold on the technology yet.
“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,” Miller said. “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.”
Next up for Theron is a leading role in Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Netflix comic book adaptation “The Old Guard,” which IndieWire has named the streaming giant’s best action movie of 2020. “The Old Guard” begins streaming globally July 10.