George Miller is preparing to explore the past of the Furiosa, the breakout character of Mad Max: Fury Road, but what about her future? What exactly happens after the credits roll in his Oscar-winning 2015 film? We’re not meant to know the exact answer, though the ending hints at a better world that will be built by the all-female clan that Furiosa has reunited with. But Miller has two futures for Furiosa in mind, which he discussed in a recent in-depth interview about his 2015 critical and commercial hit.
In an hour-long chat with Josh Horowitz on Mad Max: Fury Road, Miller revealed the two possible futures he envisioned for the breakout hero Furiosa, played with chilling ferocity by Charlize Theron in the 2015 film. After Furiosa defeated the tyrant Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), it was assumed that she and the rest of her clan, the Vuvalini, would rebuild the blood-soaked world into a better one. But Miller suggests that Furiosa has two possible paths: become a savior, or become a new tyrant.
“There’s two ways to go. One is utopian. I imagined the first thing she’d do in line with that is go up and release the water,” Miller said, likening Furiosa’s new policies to be the Mad Max version of the New Deal. But like any hero, Furiosa also has the capacity for villainy, with Miller suggesting that Furiosa may become a new tyrant, per author Joseph Campbell‘s theory:
“Campbell said that the usual story is that today’s hero becomes tomorrow’s tyrant. The hero is the agent of change. They basically relinquish self-interest in order for some common good. [Campbell] basically says … you love what you’ve built, or saved, too much. You become holdfast. You become the orthodoxy. You develop the dogma and basically then you have to protect it. That tends to be the rhythm of these things.”
That would certainly be an intriguing story to explore in a follow-up film: how does a hero become a tyrant? But the more optimistic future is much more satisfying note to end on, and one that Miller is more keen on as well, telling Horowitz, “I think she’s too smart to fall into that trap. She’s already seen it with the Immortan Joe. I believe he went through the same process. He was probably a heroic character in his own time.”
We won’t actually see what happens to Furiosa after Mad Max: Fury Road, especially with the long delays over the embattled sequel, but we will get to see her past, with a prequel in development set to star Anya-Taylor Joy. Perhaps Miller will get to explore that theme of a hero becoming a tyrant if a younger version of Immortan Joe appears as well.
See the full conversation with Miller below.
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