Warner Bros. has pushed back the release date of “Furiosa,” George Miller’s prequel to “Mad Max: Fury Road,” by a year. The film 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.
The movie stars Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role first played by Charlize Theron in the 2015 film. She’s joined by Chris Hemsworth and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, currently stirring up buzz by playing Young Morpheus in Warner Bros. “The Matrix Resurrections.” Production on “Furiosa” will take place in New South Wales in 2022. The movie is expected to be the biggest film production to ever take place in Australia, outdoing even the grandeur of the one-and-a-half-year shoot of “Fury Road” from 2012 through 2013.
In the latest edition of Empire magazine, Edgar Wright (who directs Taylor-Joy in the upcoming “Last Night in Soho”) and George Miller took part in a conversation in which the “Mad Max” director revealed that it was an early cut of “Last Night in Soho” that first put Taylor-Joy on his radar.
“I’d known about Anya but I’d never seen her in a film until I saw her in ‘Soho,’” Miller told Wright. “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 contacted Taylor-Joy to audition for the “Mad Max: Fury Road” prequel virtually during the pandemic. The actress was assigned the famous “I’m mad as hell” speech from Sidney Lumet’s “Network.”
“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. Apart from the brilliance of the writing, it’s a piece that can be done to camera. It doesn’t need an acting partner. 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 think it was done on an iPhone. 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 studio said, ‘Tick.’”