Among the undisputed highlights of 2015’s post-apocalyptic masterpiece Mad Max: Fury Road was Charlize Theron’s steely, vengeful Imperator Furiosa, a war captain who turned against the brutal ruler of the Wasteland to free his enslaved “wives.” We now have our first look at the younger version of our beloved Imperator with the official trailer for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga—a spinoff prequel film starring Anya Taylor-Joy that traces the origin of this iconic character. It’s everything we could want in a Mad Max trailer, and we are so very ready to witness this movie when it hits theaters next spring.
(Spoilers for Mad Max: Fury Road below.)
We met Furiosa early on in Fury Road, working logistics for Immortan Joe (the late Hugh Keays-Byrne), who charged her with ferrying oil from Gas Town to his Citadel with the help of a small crew of War Boys and one of the war rigs—basically tractor trailer trucks souped up with armor and novel weaponry. Furiosa stole the war rig instead, taking Joe’s five wives with her. She teamed up with Max to fight off Joe’s army as they made their way to the Green Place, where Furiosa grew up. When they finally encountered the Vuvalini of Many Mothers, Furiosa learned that the Green Place was now an uninhabitable swamp. They ultimately returned to the Citadel and overthrew Immortan Joe, and our last image of her was a triumphant Furiosa on a lift rising into the citadel.
Fury Road received almost universal critical acclaim, in no small part due to Theron’s fiery performance and director George Miller’s stunning apocalyptic vision. The film snagged 10 Oscar nominations—sadly, Theron wasn’t among them—and won six (Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing). It grossed $380 million globally against its ~185 million production budget, and by 2019 Miller expressed interest in making both a sequel and a prequel, with the latter focusing on Furiosa.
Miller once again co-wrote the script with Nico Lathouris and also brought back several Fury Road crew members: film editor Margaret Sixel, costume designer Jenny Beavan, production designer Colin Gibson, sound mixer Ben Osmo, makeup designer Lesley Vanderwalt, and composer Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL). Why mess with Oscar-winning success? The film is set 45 years after the Collapse. Per the official premise:
As the world fell, young Furiosa is snatched from the Green Place of Many Mothers and falls into the hands of a great Biker Horde led by the Warlord Dementus. Sweeping through the Wasteland, they come across the Citadel presided over by The Immortan Joe. While the two Tyrants war for dominance, Furiosa must survive many trials as she puts together the means to find her way home.
In addition to Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth co-stars as Warlord Dementus, who leads the biker gang that kidnaps a young Furiosa. Nathan Jones and Angus Sampson reprise their roles as Rictus Erectus (son of Immortan Joe) and the Organic Mechanic, respectively. There’s no information yet as to who is playing the younger Immortan Joe, but the cast also includes Daniel Webber as War Boy, and Tom Burke, Quaden Bayels, Ayla Browne, and Lacey Hulme in as-yet-undisclosed roles.
The trailer opens with the faint sound of a gunshot as the camera pans over the Wasteland. “Whatever you have to do, however long it takes, promise me you’ll find your way home,” a voiceover says. Cut to Furiosa as a young child, being taken from her family in a cage as she clings to a teddy bear. Then it’s time to start the engines and welcome the glorious chaos. It’s all here: the insane souped up vehicles, the skull masks, the skinhead War Boys, explosions, a younger version of Immortan Joe, and even a brief glimpse of the unspoiled Green Place of Many Mothers.
“The question is, do you have it in you to make it epic?” Dementus asks Furiosa at one point. We’re thinking the answer might just be yes. Prequels are tricky because we already know how things turn out. But based on this fantastic trailer, the journey to what we already know is going to be quite the ride.
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga hits theaters on May 24, 2024.
Listing image by Warner Bros.