Furiosa Director Casts Doubt on Whether Mad Max: Fury Road Sequel Will Ever Happen

Exclusive: George Miller has thought a lot about what comes next for Furiosa after the credits roll in Mad Max: Fury Road. But for the time being, he’s keeping those ideas to himself.

Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa
Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

It is fair to say that in its later years, George Miller‘s Mad Max franchise truly has become a saga. The term is used now boldly and often in the marketing for Furiosa, a film which marks the 79-year-old filmmaker’s fifth sojourn into the glories and horrors of the Wasteland. Yet what once was a series of standalone adventures in the life of Max Rockatansky and his post-apocalyptic travails has become something altogether grander thanks to 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. For it was in this film that Miller introduced viewers to a new and instantly iconic protagonist, the Master of the War Rig and Scourge of the Citadel, Imperator Furiosa (played unforgettably by Charlize Theron).

By the end of the movie, it was Furiosa’s triumph that stuck with viewers as she ascended to the Citadel’s throne of power, promising a new and hopefully fairer matriarchal world than the bleak dystopia created by Immortan Joe. In the nine years since that movie’s release, it is also Furiosa’s story which has fascinated Miller, who is at last ready to tell it in full with his latest release, a sprawling two and a half hour odyssey that spans decades of pain and anguish. At last we have the full legend of how Furiosa (now played by an equally ferocious Anya Taylor-Joy) came to be.

Epic where Fury Road was minimalist, and trenchant in its worldbuilding where Fury Road was deliberately sparse, Furiosa gives our most trenchant glance yet into the Wasteland. And as Miller has confirmed elsewhere, it even leaves the door open for another Mad Max movie set between the events of Furiosa and Fury Road. However, after all the worldbuilding and jumping around the timeline that Miller’s committed to, it’s fair to wonder if in addition to another traditional Mad Max flick if the director also has any interest in exploring what Furiosa’s life is like some years after she came to power. Is there room for a sequel to the events of Fury Road?

“People have speculated,” Miller says with a wry smile when we raise the thought. “Is Furiosa going to improve [the Citadel]? Can she improve it? Or is she going to do what often happens in many stories where there is some revolution. As [Joseph] Campbell said, ‘Often yesterday’s hero becomes tomorrow’s tyrant.’ And that’s a story told over and over again as well.”

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It’s a deliberately cryptic and thought-provoking tease about what a Furiosan rule might look like in this brutal world—or what it might not. Be that as it may, Miller admits he rather likes leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions.

“I’ve honestly thought a lot about what happens to Furiosa when she takes over the Citadel,” Miller says. “Yeah, I have thought about it. But I’d rather other people speculate because stories are in the eyes of the beholder. They’re not for the storyteller to insist that this is exactly what happens. All stories, whether they’re a fairy tale or some sort of religious story, or basically folklore, they are there for us to interpret them or to try to interpret them according to our own belief.”

Elsewhere in our conversation though, Miller might offer some advice for how to interpret this world: look at the full scale of human history. After all, Furiosa in particular draws on images from medieval, Roman, and even biblical history and mythology, right down to its focus on praetorian guards and imperator commanders.

“It’s a reduced future we have here,” Miller says. “[The apocalypse] starts next Wednesday with all the things we read in the press sort of happening at once… That simplicity allows you basically to examine behaviors that are constant throughout the human narrative. In all cultures, nooks, and crannies of the world, these same stories are told, and it’s true you see these behaviors over and over, and over again.”

The thought raises questions about what Furiosa’s future might be. No matter what, it seems like an epic worth telling, but for the time being, Miller seems happy to let viewers set their own canons for themselves.

Furiosa is in theaters on Friday, May 24. Be sure to check back at Den of Geek in the coming days for more of our interview with George Miller, as well as stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth.

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