Why Are Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Tom Hardy Not in Furiosa?

George Miller’s ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ is a post-apocalyptic action film that serves as the prequel to ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ the fourth installment in the ‘Mad Max’ film series. The film chronicles Imperator Furiosa’s rise to one of the soldiers of Immortan Joe, the “king” of The Citadel. Despite the movie revolving around Charlize Theron’s ‘Fury Road’ character, Anya Taylor-Joy replaces the former. In addition, two of the main cast members of the 2015 film, Nicholas Hoult and Tom Hardy, are also absent in the prequel. The reasons behind their absences range from practical to plot-based!

George Miller Decided Against De-Aging Charlize Theron

When George Miller was initially developing ‘Furiosa,’ Charlize Theron was expected to play the titular character. The actress even wanted to make the movie before ‘Fury Road.’ “I think about three months before the film [‘Fury Road’], she [Theron] said, ‘George, can we do ‘Furiosa’ first, this story?’ And I said, ‘Charlize, we’ve been working on this for 10 years! We are ready to shoot this film,’” the filmmaker told People. However, Miller’s plans to make the prequel right after ‘Fury Road’ didn’t materialize, mainly because he was legally battling against Warner Bros. over a $7 million bonus he was claimed to be owed for making the 2015 film.

By the time Miller was ready to make ‘Furiosa,’ a major part of a decade had passed. He realized that Theron, who is in her 40s, cannot play Furiosa without using de-aging technology. Even though the filmmaker considered relying on the same, the results he saw in other films, especially Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ and Ang Lee’s ‘Gemini Man,’ were not convincing enough. “Both of them were masterful directors, but it was never persuasive. I thought all people would be watching is Charlize looking young and knowing it’s an effect,” the director told Variety.

Once Miller realized that he had to cast another actress to replace Theron, the latter had to accept the decision. “It’s a tough one to swallow. Listen, I fully respect George, if not more so in the aftermath of making ‘Fury Road’ with him. He’s a master, and I wish him nothing but the best. […] Yeah, it’s a little heartbreaking, for sure. I really love that character, and I’m so grateful that I had a small part in creating her,” the actress told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m not mad about [Miller doing a prequel instead of a sequel]. One of the greatest fucking actresses [Anya Taylor-Joy] is picking up something that I only imagined,” she told THR in 2022.

Nicholas Hoult’s Nux is Too Young to be in Furiosa

In ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ Nicholas Hoult plays Nux, a War Boy devoted to Immortan Joe. When “Mad Max” Rockatansky and Furiosa team up against the dictator, Nux is the one who leads a fight against the duo. Despite Nux being an integral part of The Citadel in ‘Fury Road,’ Hoult and his character are not in the prequel simply because of the timeline of the two films. ‘Furiosa’ seemingly takes place within twenty years before the events in ‘Fury Road.’ During the same period, Nux can only be a baby, given he is born by that point.

“I knew going into ‘Fury Road,’ I knew all of Nux’s life up until the moment we meet him in that film. And obviously, as a prequel, it’s earlier. Nux would’ve maybe just about been born, and I don’t think I could play a six-month-old or a year-old. It would be a stretch for me,” Hoult explained his absence in ‘Furiosa’ to ComicBook. Even though the actor is not a part of the prequel’s cast, he didn’t forget to support his ‘The Menu’ co-star, Anya Taylor-Joy. When the actress reached out to Hoult for insight into the world of ‘Mad Max,’ the actor asked her to trust Miller.

Despite Hoult’s absence in the prequel, it offers a nod to the former’s character by showing Nux’s bird bobblehead in the post-credits shot. If Miller ever conceives a film with its narrative aligning with the life of Nux, we can expect Hoult to star in it.

Tom Hardy’s Absence and a Mysterious Cameo

Tom Hardy is not a part of ‘Furiosa’ despite his character, “Mad Max” Rockatansky, appearing in an extremely short cameo. In a scene in which Furiosa rushes to The Citadel after escaping from Dementus, a man can be seen briefly watching the former. Even though his face isn’t visible, his outfit and the modified V8 Interceptor car are enough to recognize him as Mad Max. Jacob Tomuri, who was Hardy’s stunt double in ‘Fury Road,’ appears as Max in the prequel. It is understandable why Hardy didn’t join the cast to reprise his character in a small shot in which his face is not even visible.

Hardy’s absence is not a surprise since Mad Max and Furiosa’s paths cross several years after the events in the film. At the beginning of ‘Fury Road,’ Max is captured by Immortan Joe to have his blood transfused to Nicholas Hoult’s Nux. Since Nux is not even an adult during the time ‘Furiosa’ takes place, Hardy’s absence is justified. The actor was open to reprising Max in “Mad Max: The Wasteland,” another ‘Mad Max’ film Miller had been developing. However, in June 2024, the actor told Forbes that he “don’t think that’s happening.”

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