‘Furiosa,’ Anya Taylor-Joy Earn 6-Minute Standing Ovation at Cannes

Nine years after the debut of “Mad Max: Fury Road” in the South of France, George Miller is once again the toast of the Croisette. The audience at the world premiere of the director’s prequel “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” went wild for his latest high-octane action film, showering the movie with a six-minute standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday night.

Taylor-Joy blew kisses into the camera as the clapping continued at the end of the credits, performing a theatrical bow. Hemsworth looked teary-eyed at the rapturous response.

“We worked very hard on this film, and it’ll be very interesting to see what you make of it,” Miller said briefly after the standing ovation. “Thank you for having us.” 

“Fury Road” was known for its constant fighting between Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy — but Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth showed themselves to be more laid-back as they arrived early at the premiere. They both worked the crowds outside the Palais, signing dozens of autographs and taking selfies with fans.

Taylor-Joy kept sticking her tongue out at the cameras, while Hemsworth looked to be in great spirits in a dashing white tuxedo jacket that violated the strict Cannes dress code (he left his bow tie back in Australia).

The praise for “Furiosa” started early, as Cannes showered Miller and his cast with a standing ovation before the movie even began. The “Fury Road” prequel was one of the most-anticipated premieres out of this year’s Cannes. The fifth installment of the “Mad Max” franchise opens in theaters on May 24 in the United States from Warner Bros., which is hoping the film will match (or exceed) the $380 global box office of “Fury Road.” With a budget of $168 million, “Furiosa” will need to do big business to turn a profit.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world 15 to 20 years before the events of “Fury Road,” “Furiosa” stars Taylor-Joy taking over for Charlize Theron as a young Imperator Furiosa. As a young girl, Furiosa is kidnapped and imprisoned by a group of bandits known as the Biker Horde led by Warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth).

Beyond Taylor-Joy and Hemsworth, the film also stars Alyla Browne, Tom Burke, Lachy Hulme, Goran D. Kleut, Nathan Jones, Josh Helman, John Howard, Angus Sampson, Charlee Fraser, Quaden Bayles and
Daniel Webber.

Miller, of course, created the “Mad Max” franchise, and has directed all five films dating back to 1979. He was most recently at Cannes in 2022 with “Three Thousand Years of Longing,” starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton. He also served as the festival’s jury president in 2016.

Taylor-Joy previously received the Chopard Award for upcoming actors during Cannes Film Festival in 2017. In her recent Variety cover story, Taylor-Joy said of “Furiosa”: “This is the wasteland, and any outbreak of emotion is punished by death. Any empathy is punished by death — any kindness, really. It all made sense to me. I think the restrictions that were placed on me by George did create a radiation off the character, because she is being suppressed continuously throughout the film.”


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