Will Furiosa have a cameo in Mad Max: The Wasteland?


The breakout star from Mad Max: Fury Road was Charlize Theorn’s Imperator Furiosa, but the question is, will she be in the sequel?

Following Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, director George Miller waited 15 years before he even considered adding to the franchise. He thought up the fourth story, Fury Road, and took another 15 years to make it, and then spent a few more years working to get it released. The film had temporarily started production back in 2003 with Mel Gibson set to return but was ultimately canceled.

You’d think after so long Miller would’ve given up, but he spent the time reworking the script and working on more potential Max products, including an unproduced Furiosa anime prequel. The film was finally released on May 15, 2015 to universal acclaim.

Mad Max: Fury Road had three decades worth of withdrawal to make up for. Fans were expecting to see Max Rockatansky back in action and more post-apocalyptic craziness. While we certainly got the craziness, the biggest surprise was watching the lead star Max become a supporting character to Charlize Theron’s Impertar Furiosa, the only woman in the world who looks like she can beat the crap out of Tom Hardy.

A toughened one-armed war survivor, Furiosa was a slave to the dictator Immortan Joe after his armies kidnapped her as a child. Once a grown woman, she became a lieutenant in command of a group of War Boys with her own personal war rig.

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The film’s sequel, Mad Max: The Wasteland, was confirmed early on but has since been delayed by a lawsuit. Tom Hardy promised back in 2017 that the sequel was still in progress but four years after Fury Road is a long time to go without any developments, especially in Hollywood years. No word has been said about The Wasteland until recently when a rumor emerged about the film finally moving forward into production.

While discussing the doomed fate of World War Z 2, Fandango managing editor Erik Davis said that he’s heard a rumor that the sequel to Fury Road is “beginning to rev its engines.”

Upon making Fury Road, Miller originally planned to stop there, believing Max helping Furiosa free the people of the Citadel was a good way to end the franchise. However, the film’s success and popularity changed his mind, and he quickly started planning additional films set in the same universe. I think the 10 Academy Awards it was nominated for was a big motivator.

Ultimately, in a change of creative thought, Miller decided against additional sequels in favor of spin-offs and prequels. Upon the popularity of Theron’s character, he started working towards a stand-alone prequel film titled Furiosa.

While speaking with Independent, Miller discussed the future films that could become part of the franchise and his desire to explore characters other than Max.

"“These characters and these worlds tend to swirl around in the back of your brain like imaginary friends,” he said. “We dug deep into the subtext, the backstory of all the characters, and indeed the world and without really thinking about it, we wrote two other screenplays just as part of the bible of the stories. Somewhere, if the planets align, there will be two other films.”"

In an interview with Variety, Theron shared own her excitement to return to the franchise while confirming Miller’s previous statement about the two finished scripts that provided backstories for Furiosa and other characters, including Max.

"“There were three scripts. They were written as back stories to Max’s character and to Furiosa’s character. But at the end of the day, this thing lives and breathes with [director] George [Miller]. I think Warner Bros. knows that. We are all waiting for him to show us the way.”"

This, however, never happened. We did get Furiosa’s backstory in a four-issue comic book series titled after the film, but her solo movie seems to be floating in mid-air. The love Miller holds for the character makes it seem almost certain that she’ll eventually get her own movie, even if it takes years. He waited 30 years to make Fury Road, no one can say the man doesn’t have patience.

However, it seems like The Wasteland will be released first, as a sequel to Fury Road. Miller has confirmed that The Wasteland isn’t going to be a direct sequel, but a separate film set in the same universe where a guy named Max wonders around like a post-apocalyptic Clint Eastwood.

The question now is whether Theron will get a cameo or a supporting role in this film. With her solo film on hold, will Miller use this opportunity to maintain her presence in the franchise?

Roadshow/Warner Bros.
Roadshow/Warner Bros. /

The Wastelands are an important detail within the Mad Max films and the “Green Place”, a fertile area within the Wastelands, is where Furiosa grew up. Maybe this new film will be set earlier in the future and show a glimpse of this mystical sounding patch of green land. The title being “Wasteland” suggests a background will be given to the toxic Australian landscape or include it as part of the story rather than making it another setting device.

It seems unlikely that Theron’s character will get anything larger than a cameo in the upcoming film if she appears at all. The Mad Max series is pretty repetitive in its set up, each film follows Max as he goes place to place, completely changing the supporting cast and setting every time.

However, it’s quite possible that Fury Road broke that pattern. Previous installments dutifully showed other areas of the country, different people and such, but they were displayed as an extension of the Wasteland itself, either as desperate survivors living on the brink of desolation or as savages killing anything they come into contact with. Fury Road does away with that by making Max more feral, and those around him more human.

Theron hasn’t signed on for The Wasteland and Miller himself confirmed that The Wasteland will not follow Furiosa, but that doesn’t mean she won’t appear. Then again, Theron said, “what’s that” when asked by USA Today about The Wasteland, so maybe not.

Miller seems incredibly devoted to these new characters and remains devoted to their futures, I find it hard to believe he’ll just leave them behind. He did confirm that one character will return though, Doof Warrior, the blind musician hooked up to the front of one of the war rigs playing a flaming guitar. As mentioned in his Independent interview,

"“I know who his mother was. I know how it was that a man who is mute and blind survived the apocalypse. I know his story very well!” says Miller. “If we get to make another movie, the Doof Warrior will be there!”"

The musician resides at the Citadel, where Furiosa lives. Max went on his merry way at the end, so does this mean he goes back to the stronghold, or does it mean Doof will supply music to another car chase? If Doof Warrior is listed to appear in The Wasteland than I think we can bet on Furiosa making a brief appearance, or at least get a name drop.

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Mad Max: The Wasteland has no release date yet