Furiosa Looks Awesome, But We Don’t Need Even More Prequels

The Mad Max saga is suffering from prequel mania.

Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road
Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Pictures

Furiosa was born out of artistic curiosity. Mad Max creator George Miller had been working on a new story for years, and while that would lay the groundwork for 2015’s Fury Road, Miller spent so much time building backstories for new characters — Charlize Theron’s Furiosa especially — that the leftover material went on to inspire a “novella” all its own.

“We did it just for the actors and the crew so they could understand it,” Miller recently explained at CinemaCon. “We wrote the story of Furiosa in the 15 or 16 years of her life before we meet her in Fury Road, we wrote a story about Max in the year before he got there and so on.”

Following the success of Fury Road, Miller felt inspired to bring those stories to the big screen. Furiosa will chart 15 years of the heroine’s life, from her childhood in the fabled Green Place all the way up to her appearance in Fury Road. It’s certainly a first for a franchise that’s been disinterested in creating a definitive timeline, but if Miller has his way, it won’t be the last.

Furiosa could open the door for yet another prequel.

Warner Bros. Pictures

With Furiosa racing towards a Cannes premiere, Miller seems to be thinking about future Mad Max movies. In a recent interview, he even revealed that Max has a blink-and-miss-it cameo in Furiosa, since the upcoming film shares a bit of overlap with Fury Road.

“As we get towards the end of this movie, the chronology... Basically, we had to see that Mad Max was lurking around somewhere,” Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “The writers know what happened to Mad Max in that year before, and we have a whole story of that, which I would like to do sometime if I get the chance.”

Whatever form it takes, Fury Road has become a lynchpin for the Mad Max franchise. Miller seems eager to build a new canon around the 2015 film, and it’s interesting to note the director seems preoccupied with the past, rather than future sequels.

George Miller is all-in on the Mad Max saga, but maybe not in the way fans are hoping for.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Miller hasn’t been shy about his plans for two Fury Road prequels; as early as 2017, he spoke about the desire to make two more films off the backstories he co-wrote. Still, fans have been holding out for a follow-up to Fury Road for almost a decade now, and the longer Miller works on the prequels, the more he risks undoing the best part of the 2015 film. So many genre franchises have grown too obsessed with their own lore. Does Mad Max really need to be that way too?

Fury Road was a blank slate. It was the best kind of reboot, one that softly reset the franchise timeline and didn’t worry too much about continuity. It gave the Mad Max saga a new lease on life and served as a perfect entry point for novices. It’s not that too many prequels will ruin the franchise, but they do curb the momentum Fury Road established. It will be interesting to see what Furiosa and Max were up to before Fury Road, but it would be much more exciting to see what they get up to after it.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga hits theaters on May 24.

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