George Miller is returning to the world of Mad Max with a Fury Road prequel called Furiosa. As the title indicates, it will be the origin story of Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road. But Theron will not be reprising the role; instead, Furiosa will now be played by Anya Taylor-Joy. ATJ will be joined in the prequel by Chris Hemsworth and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. This is a stellar cast for any project, and I am always happy to see Miller, a bonkers auteur, revisit Mad Max in any way, shape, or form. What I am about to say is not a reflection on any of these fine people or the potential of this fine project: I hate that they’ve recast Furiosa.
I understand Miller made this choice because he doesn’t think the digital de-aging tech is as proficient as people (coughMartinScorsesecough) want it to be. I agree with him, digital de-aging is still noticeable at best and distracting at worst. But Charlize Theron looks incredible at 45, and I don’t think you’d need to go full de-aging to show a younger Furiosa. Just use makeup and lighting and maybe a slightly heavier hand on the digital beauty work everyone has done anyway and call it a day. Maybe facial prosthetics if you really think it’s necessary, though Theron is a physical actress, and I bet she could create a younger iteration of Furiosa just in posture and facial expressions. Charlize, for the record, called being recast “a little heartbreaking” and “a tough one to swallow”.
It’s just so…Hollywood, to recast the 40-something actress with the 20-something actress. I mean, if you ARE going to recast a Charlize Theron role with someone younger, Anya Taylor-Joy is a pretty spot-on choice, but it’s also such a pedestrian thing to do and “pedestrian” is not a word I’ve used to describe anything about George Miller’s films before. George Miller is truly a visionary and I am sure Furiosa will be a sight to behold, I just can’t believe that with all the developments in practical makeup and digital effects, there wasn’t any other solution other than “cast someone 20 years younger”, especially in a world where everyone will be filthy and sweaty and not looking their pristine, youthful best anyway. Again, Anya Taylor-Joy is a wonderful actress, and I am sure she will work very hard to fill Theron’s shoes, I just don’t think those shoes ever needed to be filled.