Exclusive: Mad Max: Fury Road Sequel With Tom Hardy And Charlize Theron In Development

They're teaming up again!

By Michileen Martin | Published

mad Max Tom Hardy Charlize Theron

George Miller’s Mad Max film series isn’t known for a lot of character returns, but that’s about to change. Our trusted and proven source has let us know that–not counting the upcoming prequel Furiosa–in the next Mad Max film, both Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron will reprise the roles they first played in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road. Filming on the sequel is currently scheduled to begin some time in the latter part of 2023.

While any sequel to Mad Max: Fury Road was expected to star Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron wasn’t necessarily presumed to be returning. The news that she’ll be back indicates a pretty big shift in the way George Miller tells his stories about Max Rockatansky. So far, other than the lead actors–originally Mel Gibson and now Tom Hardy–and a few flashbacks to the original Mad Max, none of the characters in the films have appeared in more than a single feature. In fact, on a number of occasions Miller has brought back actors for sequels, but only to play different roles. For example, while Jedediah in 1981’s The Road Warrior and the Gyro Captain in 1985’s Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome are similar and are both played by Bruce Spence, they’re different characters. Likewise the late Hugh Keays-Byrne plays both the main antagonist, Toecutter, of 1979’s Mad Max and Immortan Joe, the villain of Fury Road.

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Hugh Keays-Byrne in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

This news tracks with something George Miller recently revealed. Asked about when he came up with the idea for the prequel Furiosa–which will see Anya Taylor-Joy play a younger version of Theron’s Fury Road character–the director said that he and co-writer Nico Lathouris wrote a novel about what happened to Max between the events of Beyond Thunderdome and those of Fury Road, while writing an entire screenplay about Furiosa’s background. After writing what was meant to be simply the narrative foundation for Furiosa, Miller was so impressed with the screenplay that he pitched the prequel. So it may be that he’s simply become so attached to this newer Mad Max character that he couldn’t bear to bring back Tom Hardy without Charlize Theron as well.

It would have been interesting to be the proverbial fly on the wall in whatever meeting got Theron back into the franchise. The actress has dealt with her share of pain in playing Furiosa. On one hand, The production of Mad Max: Fury Road saw some explosive conflicts between Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron behind the scenes. On the other, as Theron told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020, she was crushed to learn her character had been recast for the Furiosa prequel. The original plan had been to digitally de-age Theron for the film, but after filming on any follow-ups was delayed because of a dispute over unpaid earnings, Miller decided to go with a younger actress instead.

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Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

It seems likely the already announced Mad Max: The Wasteland is the film that will see Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron reunite. But in an entertainment landscape where nearly finished $100 million films are deleted from hard drives, and actors straight-up lie about what movies they’re appearing in, you shouldn’t take too much for granted. Regardless, the next Mad Max sequel will have to wait for the prequel Furiosa, which is currently filming and is expected to hit theaters May 24, 2024.