It may be taking longer than expected thanks to a Warner Bros. lawsuit and the pandemic, but George Miller will soon be kicking off production on Furiosa, a prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road that will chart the origins of Imperator Furiosa before she became one of Immortan Joe’s war captains and met up with Max Rockatansky in the 2015 film. Anya Taylor-Joy will be playing Furiosa in the prequel, and it seems as though we may have Edgar Wright to thank for her landing the role.
In Empire‘s Celebration of Edgar Wright issue, the director got together with Mad Max director George Miller, who brought up the moment Wright convinced him to cast Anya Taylor-Joy in the film. Miller had seen an early cut of Wright’s Last Night in Soho, which served as his first introduction to the actress.
I’d known about Anya but I’d never seen her in a film until I saw her in Soho. And I remember thinking, ‘Gee, she’s interesting.’ I started to say to you, ‘I’m looking for someone to cast as Furiosa,’ and I barely got the sentence out before you said, ‘Don’t go any further, she’s great, she’s gonna be huge. She’s fantastic to work with.’ You were so emphatic about it.
That was all George Miller needed to get the ball rolling on the audition process for Anya Taylor-Joy, which involved acting out a scene from Network. “I said to her, ‘I’d like you to do a very simple test, which is read something to camera.’ And it was the speech from Network. The ‘I’m mad as hell’ speech,” Miller explained. “Apart from the brilliance of the writing, it’s a piece that can be done to camera. It doesn’t need an acting partner. Anya did one version, which was really good. Then I gave her just a couple of simple notes about intention and she just absolutely nailed [it]“
Anya Taylor-Joy will be joined by Chris Hemsworth and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in Furiosa, which is set for a June 23, 2023 release. We’ll next see Taylor-Joy in Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho on October 29, 2021.