Chris Hemsworth can't wait to leave the "predictable" superhero box and be "ugly and violent" in Furiosa

Fury Road director George Miller is back with Furiosa, starring Chris Hemsworth as villain Dementus. And Miller has plans for another Mad Max movie after that.
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga from Warner Bros.
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga from Warner Bros. /

For over a decade, Chris Hemsworth has been playing the noble-hearted, thick-headed Marvel superhero Thor, a paragon of strength and virtue. But the latest Thor movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, got mixed reviews, doing its part to herald in a bit of a slump for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “I got caught up in the improv and the wackiness, and I became a parody of myself,” Hemsworth told Vanity Fair. “I didn’t stick the landing.”

It's entirely possible we'll see Hemsworth back as Thor at some point, but in the meantime, the actor is branching out with a role as the villain Dementus in Furiosa, the prequel to the 2015 Mad Max movie Fury Road. That movie was a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart, and if Furiosa captures even a fraction of its power, fans are in for a wild ride.

The Mad Max series has always had a way with names. Mad Max is mad. Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron in Fury Road and Anya Taylor-Joy in this prequel, is furious. Dementus...well, he doesn't sound very stable, does he? This is a complete departure for Hemsworth.

...although Dementus does wear a red cape. "It's not intentional to be a comparison of Thor," Hemsworth told Entertainment Weekly, "but I found a wonderful departure to it — to play the villain, transform, and inhabit a completely different physicality was a lot of fun. I loved it. And it was the real attraction."

"[Another attraction] besides working with [director George Miller], was just to dirty it up and to be messy and ugly and violent and chaotic, rather than being in the somewhat predictable box of the hero in a superhero space. There's a whole lot of rules that you have to stick to [with that]. With this, I could throw that out the window, which was nice."

Hemsworth even gets to change his physical appearance as Dementus by wearing a prosthetic nose, the better to make him look like "this historic-looking Roman figure," according to director George Miller, who's been making Mad Max movies since the 1970s. "It's one of the only times in my entire career that a male costar has been in the makeup chair for as long as I have," Taylor-Joy joked.

As a native Australian, Hemsworth grew up on the Mad Max movies, and wanted to play the lead role back when talk of a revival was in the wind. He became Thor instead, but I can't wait to see him cut loose in Furiosa.

Furiosa director already has an idea for another Mad Max movie

So Hemsworth plays the villain, but what about the hero? Fans already met Imperator Furiosa in Fury Road, where she was a one-armed road warrior with a shaved head and a yen to return home after working for who-knows-how-long for the tyrannical Immortan Joe (played by the late Hugh Keays-Bryne in Fury Road and by Lachy Hulme in Furiosa). In this movie, we'll see her get snatched from her homeland as a child, and then get involved in the battle between Dementus and Immortan Joe after she grows up.

"She's not able to react the way that she wants to," Tayloy-Joy said of her character. "She's not able to do what she wants. She's desperately trying to fulfill a promise [to get back home] in a world run by two insane men. So I felt for her. I was like, ‘Damn, sister, that sucks.'"

We'll see the moments where Furiosa shaves her head and loses her arm. And although this isn't his movie, there may be a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo from Mad Max himself. Max was played for years by Mel Gibson, but Tom Hardy took over for him in Fury Road.

If Furiosa is as beloved as Fury Road was, people will want more. Apparently, Miller has an idea for another Mad Max movie down the road. "In doing what we did in the preparation of Mad Max: Fury Road, we also wrote what happened to Max in the year before we encounter him in [that film],” he explained. “And as we get towards the end of [Furiosa], the chronology, basically, we had to see that Mad Max was lurking around somewhere because we do know what happened. The writers know what happened to Mad Max in that year before, and we have a whole story of that, which I would like to do sometime if I get the chance.”

"We are certainly working on it. And as I say, we wrote that basically as a novella, and now we've got a chance, we will get that into a screenplay form, and then we'll take it from there."

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (I hereby formally lodge my objection to the unwieldy subtitle) rolls into theaters on May 24.

dark. Next. HBO catches us up on Rhaenyra Targaryen's relationships before House of the Dragon season 2. HBO catches us up on Rhaenyra Targaryen's relationships before House of the Dragon season 2

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