Furiosa Wasn’t Supposed To Be A Movie, Original Form Revealed By Director

By Christopher Isaac | Updated

When Mad Max: Fury Road came out in 2015, it was a dramatic shift from the previous films in the franchise. There were the obvious changes like Max not being played by Mel Gibson for the first time, but the story evidently was supposed to be even more different. At a press screening at the IMAX Headquarters in Los Angeles for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, director George Miller revealed that Furiosa was actually originally planned to be an anime TV series.

Furiosa Was Created First As An Anime

mad max furiosa

George Miller shared that he had been working on the idea of the Furiosa anime while simultaneously developing the live-action Fury Road. Miller was collaborating with writer Mahiro Maeda on what was apparently intended to be a series rather than a movie. The project got far enough into development that character sketches were developed for it, some of which were used to translate elements over to the live-action movie.

Furiosa Has Been In The Works For Decades

Beyond the shift in mediums of Furiosa, going from initially being an anime to a live-action movie, Miller’s statements are also intriguing because they reveal how far back this next installment had been planned. Some critics complained upon seeing teasers for Furiosa, feeling it was an attempt at trying to cash in on the franchise’s name value rather than the franchise genuinely needing a prequel. But these comments from Miller mean this has been in the works for nearly a decade.

Written Before Fury Road

Talking about why he felt Furiosa’s story needed to be expanded (whether through an anime or a movie), Miller said, “In order to tell that story cohesively, we had to know everything that happened in the time before [the movie started].”

Miller even reveals that everyone involved in Fury Road knew about this coming into the movie. “So we wrote a story about Furiosa from the time she was taken as a child, as she refers to in Fury Road, until she became the Imperator Furiosa. That ended up as a full screenplay, with concept art and so on. And the actors, the designers, and all the crew got the screenplay of that before shooting Fury Road.”

The Growing Mad Max Franchise

While it might be tough to envision Furiosa being released as an anime instead, it is not unprecedented for the Mad Max films to branch out into other mediums. The same year that Fury Road was released, there was also a Mad Max video game, as well as a Mad Max: Fury Road comic book, that acted as a prequel to the movie. In contrast to the Furiosa prequel movie, the comic book took place more immediately before Fury Road rather than many years prior.

If the idea of seeing Furiosa as an anime intrigued you, unfortunately, the franchise will not be delving into that medium for the foreseeable future. However, one interesting tidbit shared is that a very specific detail about the sketches made for the anime has been kept for the Furiosa movie.

An Anime Easter Egg

In the concept art for the Furiosa anime, the character of Dementus (who will be played by Chris Hemsworth in the movie) is depicted with a teddy bear chained to his clothing. “That teddy bear — [Maeda] started doing some illustrations and put that bear in,” said Miller. “And then that became a part of the story. So that was already there before Fury Road.”

The inclusion of the bear is not just a random Easter egg for fans who know about the anime sketches. It has been promised that the teddy bear will hold a significant revelation about the character of Dementus. As the lone surviving detail from the anime, it will be interesting to learn its significance.

Furiosa will be in theaters on May 24, not as an anime, but in full live-action.