Imperator Furiosa didn’t have her name in the title of Mad Max: Fury Road, but she was its undisputed star. Rumors abounded afterwards that Furiosa would get her own film, an installment that focused almost entirely on her. According to Australia’s Herald Sun, that prequel is already in pre-production.
The film, reportedly titled Mad Max: The Wasteland, will focus on Furiosa’s backstory, and will see Oscar winner Charlize Theron reprise her role. The Herald Sun reports that the brilliant George Miller, who has directed every Mad Max installment thus far, will return to direct.
Miller has previously stated that if he were to direct another film in the franchise, it wouldn’t be until he’d done something else first. This contradiction casts some doubts on the Australian paper’s report, which also suggests that the prequel “will be filmed in and around Broken Hill,” an area in New South Wales. The Herald Sun also suggests that shooting “could start as soon as later this year.”
Also appearing to contradict the report is Miller’s previous statement that Furiosa would not figure heavily into Fury Road’s sequel(s). “She’s not in the Mad Max [sequel] story, but in one of the stories there’s an interaction between [Max and Furiosa],” the director said in a 2015 interview. Perhaps, however, sequel/prequel is a key distinction here.
At any rate, hunger for another Mad Max is high after the success of Fury Road with pretty much everyone. The film was adored by critics, made $378 million worldwide, and was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, winning six—more than any other 2015 film. If the prequel is truly in pre-production, it certainly has a high bar to live up to.