One of the biggest surprises of the summer movie season was the revelation that the wildly anticipated Mad Max reboot, which featured Tom Hardy extremely prominently as the new post-apocalyptic hero in the bonkers trailers, actually belonged to another character â€” a woman. At Cannes, where the film premiered, Hardy dismissed the publicâ€™s expectation that Mad Max â€œwas supposed to be a manâ€™s movieâ€: â€œNo,â€ he scoffed. â€œNot for one minute. Itâ€™s kind of obvious.â€
Charlize Theronâ€™s Imperator Furiosa was a gritty and ruthless action star, the heir to Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamiltonâ€™s cinematic alpha females, and her quest for revenge against the draconian Immortan Joe drove the narrative of Mad Max: Fury Road. Her prominence in the film is hardly subversive, but it was a slight twist that director George Miller certainly enjoyed. â€œWhen I met with George, I believed him when he said to me, â€˜I want to create a female character that can stand next to Max,â€™â€ says Theron, in one of the filmâ€™s Blu-ray extras. â€œHe was so excited about creating an anti-heroic woman, who was really driven by these very, very pure human flaws.â€
Fury Road, which is already available as a digital download and arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 1, was the rare summer blockbuster to charm the critics, grossing more than $152 million and generating ripples of Oscar buzz in the process. In a year not lacking for standout female performances, Theronâ€™s Furiosa might not make the final shortlist like Weaver did for Aliens in 1987. But her work deserves a close look, one that she and collaborators discuss extensively in these two special featurettes.
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