Charlize Theron has sent a message loud and clear to Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller that she's ready to return to his diesel-fueled post-apocalyptic world and again play Imperator Furiosa, the seemingly fearless rig-driving heroine she created in the smash hit 2015 film.
Mad Max: Fury Road marked Miller's return to the world he created through his original trilogy of films starring Mel Gibson, beginning with the low-budget Australian action movie Mad Max in 1979, continuing through the post-apocalyptic Western Road Warrior in 1981 and culminating in the epic action-fantasy Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome in 1985. Fury Road starred Theron alongside Tom Hardy as a re-imagined Max, who along with Furiosa battled across the desert wastelands to protect a group of pregnant women whom Furiosa had kidnapped from their cruel master, the water-hoarding maniac Immortan Joe.
Speaking at the SDCC Hall H Women Who Kick Ass panel, Theron fielded a question about her willingness to play Furiosa again and said she is ready to do it, but also said that Miller had better hurry up if he wants to make the movie as she isn't getting any younger:
"I loved playing Furiosa and I love that George allowed me to play her and didn't fight me. He did nothing but support and celebrate who I wanted that woman to be. It would be great, but if he's not ready, he's not ready. I'll be waiting, George [Miller], but I'm gonna be 42 in August, so let's get it over with."
Theron then delved a little bit into the backstory of Furiosa as it was related to her by Miller and talked about what makes the character interesting to her:
I read the backstory. It was a beautiful backstory of how she ended up in that world and how she lost her arm and how he [Immortan Joe] was trying to utilize her but couldn't and how she was barren and all the stuff that again we always think of with women and this was kind of a character that really played against all of that stuff and I think through playing against it, to me, was a real woman.
In a different recent interview, Theron talked about the scripts Miller wrote that fleshed out the backstories of Furiosa and Mad Max, and said everyone including Warner Bros. is just waiting for Miller to give the word that he's ready to revisit the characters. Miller's own most recent word on the matter of another Mad Max movie was that he is hopeful the "planets will align" and allow him to continue the series. Hardy for his part has said he also is ready to go for another Mad Max when/if Miller puts out the call. It's unlikely Theron and Hardy would appear together in the same Fury Road sequel however, as the two other scripts Miller prepared both take place before the characters met.
Warner Bros. should have no issue putting up the money to make another Mad Max film after Fury Road grossed $378 million worldwide and snagged 10 Oscar nominations including one for Best Picture. The question is whether Miller, who is not known for rushing into his productions, would be able to get this one up to speed while Theron and/or Hardy are still interested. Theron was half-joking when she mentioned her age during the SDCC panel but she does have a point: If a Furiosa movie is ever going to happen, it needs to get going sooner rather than later.