When I think of Mad Max: Fury Road, my first thought isn’t the death-defying stunts, or Tom Hardy’s muteness, or that one flame-throwing guitar Slash wannabe. It’s always Charlize Theron’s eyes. Lightning-blue amidst that black sludge filling her face. The whole movie is in her eyes: determined, rebellious, agitated by their surroundings. They communicate everything you need to know.
They’re so gravitating that if you knew nothing heading into the film—the title, the series’ history, Hollywood’s patriarchy—you just assume Theron’s Furiosa is the main character of the film. But the series is called Mad Max so the movie must care about Hardy’s Max when all you want to do is spend more time with Theron and those eyes.
Now, it looks like we might get that chance. According to the Herald Sun, director George Miller has begun pre-production on a Mad Max prequel, which will apparently focus on the backstory of Furiosa. The movie will film in and around Australia’s Broken Hills, which might be the perfect set location name for a Mad Max movie if I’ve ever heard one.
The film has a working title of Mad Max: The Wasteland, which is pretty much perfect for a post-apocalyptic thriller with maniacs driving souped-up go-karts. Though another part of me does worry hearing “backstory of Furiosa” and it turning into some talkie twee movie concerned with qualities that aren’t big wheels, explosions, badass apocalyptic gear, and, again, Charlize Theron’s eyes.
But that’s just anxious speculation. If it’s a George Miller-assisted screenplay, like the previous four Mad Max installments, then we can be sure dialogue won’t bloat the film. Quick question: What’s the most memorable line from Fury Road for you? Personally, it’s when Nicolas Hoult frenzies, almost as if he were experiencing a seizure, and screams, “What a day! What a lovely day!”
Which, if we’re keeping it 100, is pretty basic as far as memorable lines go. And that’s great! Keep it simple. Not to go all Cormac McCarthy, but it’s about The Road. It’s all that ever matters in these films, or most post-apocalyptic stories for that matter. When the world becomes a radioactive desert, where do we go?
I’m not sure. But I know one thing: Wherever Theron’s Furiosa’s going, I’m following.