12 shiny and chrome things to know about Furiosa

We couldn’t be curiosa about Furiosa, George Miller’s epic prequel to all-time great action sequel Mad Max: Fury Road. And even though queen Charlize Theron won’t be returning as the apocalyptic buzzcut badass, there’s plenty of fresh faces—including new star Anya Taylor-Joy—to witness.

Scroll for 12 things to know that’ll rev up your excitement for the fifth film in the Mad Max franchise, from Chris Hemsworth’s heel turn to a staggering action scene that took 78 days to shoot. Oh, what a day: what a lovely day!

1. From Fury Road to French red carpet: it’s premiering at Cannes!

L’Imperator c’est tres chic, mais non? Furiosa will thunder down the red carpet at the 77th Cannes Film Festival on May 15, premiering out of competition alongside films like Kevin Costner’s Horizon and fellow Aussie thriller The Surfer, starring Nic Cage. It’s an audacious space for the prequel to be seen for the first time, almost 10 years after Fury Road screened out of competition at Cannes in 2015: a lil switcheroo in terms of the Mad Max chronology, since Furiosa is set about 15 years before the former film’s events. Adorably enough, the new movie will be available in Aussie cinemas before the US and the rest of the world gets a peek the day after.

2. Charlize Theron used the original script to develop her Fury Road portrayal

We’ve previously reported on OG Furiosa Theron’s disappointment at not being asked back for this earlier look at her iconic character: while Miller briefly raised the idea of using de-ageing CGI to present us with a younger version of the actor, she admitted to feeling “heartbroken” at her exclusion from this prequel. Thing is, Furiosa was originally written practically alongside Fury Road‘s long-gestating script, so Theron was able to use everything we’ll see in the new film as background for her grizzled, soot-baked character. Knowing that the older, wiser Furiosa had all this backstory in her original performance will hopefully make the prequel a complete and satisfying arc to witness.

3. Anya Taylor-Joy auditioned over Zoom, reading one of cinema’s most iconic monologues

The Queen’s Gambit and (blink-and-you’ll-miss-it) Dune 2 star was ultimately chosen to fill Theron’s big, steampunky boots, and she nabbed the role by performing a legendary monologue from 1976’s Network for director George Miller over Zoom. Apparently she was convincingly “mad as hell” and “not gonna take it anymore”, resulting in a role that Taylor-Joy calls the “dirtiest and the bloodiest” she’s ever been onscreen.

Speaking to IndieWire about filming the action epic down under, the actor said she still needs “to sit down and attempt to try and digest what’s happened over the last seven months. But I’m incredibly, incredibly proud of it, and so proud of all of the people I got to work with.”

4. George Miller didn’t let Anya Taylor-Joy actually shave her head—but she wanted to

Furiosa’s trademark haircut—a greased-up, close-cropped buzzcut that can weather the apocalypse’s brutal conditions—finally made an appearance in the second trailer for the new film. But it looks like Taylor-Joy didn’t actually have to shave up à la Theron, perhaps in efforts to not piss off her pals at her fashion partnership with Dior. Miller apparently wouldn’t let his lead actor snip off her infamous long locks after seeing her IRL, and realising it’d be a bigger task to find a suitable wig for any unexpected reshoots, confusing the film’s timeline. “I was so excited to shave my head”, Taylor-Joy enthused to Empire: “then George saw me in real life, and went, ‘No, we can’t!’” Ah, well. Hopefully she gets cast in a Sinead O’Connor biopic or something.

5. Chris Hemsworth is the dastardly Warlord Dementus

Did you know the elder Hemsworth auditioned to play Max Rockatansky in Fury Road, ultimately losing the role to Brit Tom Hardy? He’s far less typecast here, the Aussie action hero disguised behind janky teeth and a prominent fake nose as the deranged Warlord Dementus. We don’t see this bloke in Fury Road, so here’s hoping that Furiosa takes him down by the end of his introductory movie.

At CinemaCon, Hemsworth applauded the film’s set for feeling “both intimidating, loud, noisy, exhausting, and yet completely safe and in control.” He also revealed that director Miller got ex-criminals, including Hells Angels’ bikies, involved as extras in the production: “[George] would interview these people and not get them to read a script, but [say] ‘tell me a story, tell me about yourself’…There was a redemption quality to it.”

6. Lachy Hulme plays a younger Immortan Joe: RIP Hugh Keays-Byrne

We’re still crushed by the loss of Keays-Byrne back in 2020, who played not only Fury Road‘s disfigured archenemy Immortan Joe but also the nasty Toecutter in earlier Mad Max movies. With the evil (and only slightly less gruesome-looking) Joe set to appear in Furiosa, Australian actor Lachy Hulme, already cast as one of Joe’s underlings, spoke up to Miller on set. “I said, ‘Well, somebody needs to step up for Hugh'”, Hulme told Empire: “someone needs to honour this great man. I can do it. I can do the voice. And it’s all in the eyes.” With that gnarly breathing apparatus covering most of his face, Hulme really is a dead ringer for Keays-Byrne, who shall ride eternal into Valhalla, shiny and chrome.

7. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was originally cast in Tom Burke’s role, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts

New character Praetorian Jack is a War Rig driver, seen pressing his forehead intimately to Furiosa’s in all the latest trailers for the sequel. Ally? Lover? Some earlier analogue to Max, explaining Furiosa’s connection with the stranger decades down the track? We don’t quite know what to make of the character yet, but English actor Tom Burke was probably stoked to get cast after Candyman star Abdul-Mateen II couldn’t fit it into his busy schedule. Burke has appeared in David Fincher’s Mank and plenty of UK procedural shows, but we can’t deny it would’ve been awesome to see towering actor Yahya opposite Anya Taylor-Joy.

8. We’ll get a look at the utopian Green Place of Many Mothers

One of the most devastating moments in Fury Road saw Furiosa crumble to her knees in anguish, upon learning that her native sanctuary amongst the Green Place’s fierce Vuvalini fighters had fallen. We can’t wait to see this apocalyptic haven in the prequel, paradoxically glimpsed through black-and-white in the shot above of a wee lil Furiosa. Snatched from the Many Mothers’ verdant hiding place by Dementus and his biker gangs, our heroine must survive many trials in order to make it back to where she came from. The environment should give cottagecore girlies plenty of inspo for their post-capitalist commune fantasies.

9. It’s the most expensive movie ever shot in Australia

Furiosa was awarded an $175 million filming initiative from the Australian government, after Mad Max: Fury Road was forced to film in Namibia rather than rural New South Wales like the franchise’s earlier entries. (Funny story: this happened because the typically Wasteland-esque deserts surrounding Broken Hill, NSW were blessed with unexpected rainfall, causing the epic red deserts to bloom with pretty wildflowers. Not very suitable for War Boys and Doof Warriors.)

Ultimately, Miller and co. spent a total of around $343 million (AUD) on the production, making it the most costly film ever shot on Aussie soil. In an era where Warner Bros. is cutting costs and cancelling projects left and right, we’re glad they were smart enough to fork out the big bucks for this hotly-anticipated prequel.

10. The same design, music, sound and costume teams from Fury Road will return

At the 88th Academy Awards, Fury Road racked up wins for Editing, Sound Design, Production Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Costume Design. It also should’ve won Best Picture if we’re being real here, but in any case: Miller would be a fool to not bring back the key talents that made that film look, sound, and feel as mind-blowing as it did.

Junkie XL is back as composer; your fave costume designer Jenny Beavan works alongside makeup designer Lesley Vanderwalt again; Margaret Sixel returns as editor; and production designer Colin Gibson brings us back to the Wasteland with his imaginative, resourceful worldbuilding.

11. One action sequence took 78 days to shoot!

Known as “Stairway to Nowhere”, one pivotal 15-minute-long action scene in Furiosa took the production a staggering 78 days to film, with George Miller’s extensive storyboards mapping out an epic turning point in Furiosa’s odyssey.

Miller’s producing partner Doug Mitchell revealed to Total Film that the sequence involved almost 200 stunt people, and Taylor-Joy claims that it’s vital to understanding her character’s growth. “It’s because you see an accumulation of skills over the course of a battle, and that’s very important for understanding how resourceful Furiosa is, but also her grit. It’s the longest sequence any of us have ever shot. On the day we finished, everybody got a ‘Stairway To Nowhere’ wine!” Hilariously, the actor does not have her drivers’ license IRL.

12. Thanks to Alien: Romulus and Megalopolis, it’s an odd case of cinematic deja vu

1979 was a big year for many reasons, with Apocalypse Now and original Alien and Mad Max films making it especially epic in terms of cinema. Turns out 45 years later, we’re coincidentally being served up a modern slate of similar titles: a scary Alien sequel, Francis Ford Coppola’s latest attempt to gloriously burn money, and this awesome Mad Max prequel.


Robert Eggers’ upcoming Nosferatu remake could also be added to this retro melting pot, with Herzog putting out his own Nosferatu in 1979 as well. Which movie will ride shiny and chrome into the blockbuster history books? You can probably guess which one we’ve got our soot-lined eyes on.