Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga has had a particularly long journey to the big screen, with director George Miller having originally planned to shoot it back to back with 2015’s Fury Road. Despite already having a screenplay in place, the back-to-back productions didn’t end up happening–and as time passed and star Charlize Theron got older, it became increasingly impractical to have her return to play a younger version of the character.

“She was very excited about it, and my intention was that we do it next [after Fury Road]. But then, we’ve now gone through the third parent company of Warner Bros, from Time Warner to AT&T and now Discovery ” Miller said to a group of reporters at an event for Furiosa, indicating that the corporate upheaval at Warners Bros. over the past decade is to blame for Furiosa’s delay.

But the Fury Road prequel, as we know, would end up moving forward with Anya Taylor-Joy and Alyla Browne sharing duties as the younger Furiosa. But despite the passage of time, Miller still weighed the possibility of using Theron for the prequel, thanks to the emergence of popular CGI de-aging technology.

“By the time, we got to actually do Furiousa, you know, the best part of the decade had gone by. and then I thought, ‘Okay, we can still do with Charlize.’ Then I saw these other movies like The Irishman…and particularly, I saw Gemini Man. Did you see Gemini Man? All I was looking at was the technology. I wasn’t looking at the performance. I thought, we can’t do it,'” Miller said. With the film taking this character from 10 years old to 28, Miller said, he didn’t think it could be convincing. And so they avoided dabbling with that kind of thing by having Browne play the youngest version Furiosa, outside of one brief moment.

“We didn’t do de-aging, but there’s one shot in which we made [Anya] smaller. Like, we made her the little girl in just one shot, where we made her smaller,” Miller said.

Despite the time it’s taken to bring Furiosa to the screen, this movie was always Miller’s next step for the Mad Max franchise, which he’s shepherded as writer/director on every movie. Miller wanted to do Furiosa because it was unlike any previous film in the series, and in particular because of how different it is from Fury Road specifically.

“The fact that [Furiosa] was a saga was a big contrast to something told sort of almost in real time, like the two big sequences in Fury Road are almost real time,” Miller said.

“So that’s a completely different filmmaking exercise than something told over 18 years and that was much more attractive to me at this point.”

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga tears through movie theaters starting May 24.

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