Furiosa | George Miller on why he avoided digital de-ageing

furiosa 15 years
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George Miller recast the role of Furiosa in the Mad Max film of the same name – and he’s been explaining why he didn’t go down the digital de-ageing route.

When George Miller began to draw up plans to bring Furiosa to life, he faced a difficult decision. After all, the character who would be at the heart of the Mad Max: Fury Road prequel was portrayed by Charlize Theron in the 2015 film, and the actor was so brilliant as the hardened warrior that removing her from the prequel risked losing much of what worked about the character.

So what to do? Miller has been chatting with Empire, talking about considering applying digital de-ageing tools to Charlize Theron in the film so she could play a younger version of herself. He wouldn’t be the first filmmaker to try this approach across a whole film, but when he looked at the prior results of other directors, he soon changed his mind.

Says Miller, “as time went on, I began thinking ‘maybe we could do de-ageing’. Then I watched really masterful filmmakers like Ang Lee and Martin Scorsese, doing Gemini Man and The Irishman, and I saw that it hadn’t been licked. All you’d be watching is ‘look how well the technology works.’ It would not have been persuasive.”

It’s a fair point and not the first time we’ve heard this argument.

Read more: Digital de-ageing | Some thoughts on why it’s still not hitting the mark

Christopher McQuarrie spoke a while back about deciding not to use the technology in the most recent Mission: Impossible film for similar reasons.

Instead, Miller would recast the role of Furiosa, with Anya Taylor-Joy now taking up the reins. Miller spoke briefly about that process too, saying that the actor was recommended to him by fellow filmmaker, Edgar Wright, but also adding that “there’s an innately resolute quality in her. She’s a very determined and rigorous person. She has a mystique about her. And she’d been trained young as a ballet dancer. Charlize trained young as a ballet dancer. There’s a precision to them that was needed.”

We’ll be able to see Taylor-Joy’s performance for ourselves when the film launches in the UK on May 24th. Given Miller’s skill with practical elements rather than digital ones (not to mention Taylor-Joy’s talents), we’re sure it will all work out for the best.

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