One of this summer's most memorable films was George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road. Serving as a triumphant return for the filmmaker's legendary post-apocalyptic franchise, the movie earned universal critical acclaim (read our review) and won audiences over with its immersive action sequences and simple, yet powerful, story. The $368.2 million worldwide box office total was a nice haul as well, considering Mad Max entered theaters with the hope of being an R-rated cult classic.
Shortly after Fury Road came out, talk of a sequel began, with Miller teasing his idea for a followup called The Wasteland. However, he's apparently kept one of the series' principal players out of the loop, as Charlize Theron is claiming to be unaware of its existence.
In an interview with USA Today, Theron - who famously played Imperator Furiosa in Fury Road - was asked about how the Mad Max sequel was progressing. Her response seems to indicate that the project isn't nearly as far along as some fans would have hoped. Or if it is, her character may not be involved:
"What's Wasteland? This is all news to me. I have not heard anything like that."
Actors involved with big franchises are no stranger to playing coy about upcoming installments. So it's possible that Theron is feigning ignorance here in order to keep some secrets locked in the vault. At the same time, the only news concerning The Wasteland at this point is that Miller has completed a screenplay for it, meaning it's plausible that he is still in the earliest stages of putting the film together and has not contacted any cast members about reprising their roles just yet.
Still, one has to wonder if there is more at play here. In April, it was reported that new Mad Max Tom Hardy had signed on for three sequels to Fury Road, meaning that when Warner Bros. was clearly planning for potential sequels during negotiations with the stars. That Theron has seemingly not heard anything about The Wasteland would indicate that Furiosa is not part of the studio's upcoming plans for the franchise. And after the character stole the show in Fury Road (with some calling her the movie's true protagonist), that would be a disappointing reality for fans to consider.
At the same time, it's easy to envision a scenario where the Fury Road followup does not require Theron's participation. The Mad Max series is not exactly known for its continuity between entries, with the events of the previous films rarely having any impact on the plot of the next. Miller seems to enjoy using the Max character as a means of telling various stories, dropping him into different situations each time out to explore new themes and circumstances. The lack of connective tissue in the series could serve as precedent and Miller has Max make a new set of allies in The Wasteland.
However, at this juncture it's very difficult to pinpoint the exact aspects about a Fury Road sequel. Miller seems to only be beginning the process, so it may be some time (hopefully less than three decades this time around) before concrete details are made available. Simply put, those hoping that Furiosa's adventures will continue on the big screen have nothing to fear here yet. The pieces are only starting to come into place.
Mad Max: Fury Road will be available on Blu-ray September 1, 2015.
Source: USA Today