Mad Max's Furiosa Spinoff Has Lost Aquaman's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, But A Replacement Has Already Been Found

Tom Burke smoking cigarette in BBC series Strike
(Image credit: BBC)

Instead of exploring a post-Fury Road landscape, the next chapter of the Mad Max franchise is turning the clock back to show the origins of Charlize Theron’s Furiosa. The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy will play the younger version of that character in the spinoff, and Aquaman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was supposed to be one of her costars. However, word’s come in that Mateen has exited Furiosa, but someone else has already been hired to take his place.

Tom Burke, arguably best known for playing Comoran Strike in the BBC series Strike, has been brought aboard Furiosa to fill the role Yahya Abdul-Mateen II had been hired to play. Regarding why Mateen departed the spinoff, Deadline reports that there was a scheduling conflict with an unidentified “secret passion project” for the actor that moved up its production. As such, Mateen decided to prioritize that, paving the way for Burke to be recruited for Furiosa.

In addition to the aforementioned Strike, Tom Burke is also recognizable from UK TV projects like Utopia, The Musketeers and War & Peace. While Furiosa will mark Burke’s first time starring in a major studio movie, folks who watched Netflix’s Mank might remember him playing Orson Welles, and his other film credits include Only God Forgives, The Souvenir and True Things. Along with Anya Taylor-Joy, Burke will perform alongside the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Chris Hemsworth in Furiosa.

As he’s done with all the prior Mad Max movies, George Miller will be directing, co-writing and producing the Furiosa spinoff, which was announced to be in development in early 2020. Miller will be joined on the producing front by his partner Doug Mitchell. Filming is reportedly expected to begin shooting in South Wales next year, delivering roughly $350 million (in Australian jobs) to the local economy and creating around 850 jobs. Outside of it being an origin story for the title protagonist, no specific plot details for Furiosa have been revealed yet, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the moves showed how she lost her original arm.

Up until this past September, the plan was for Furiosa to come out on June 23, 2023, but it’s since been delayed to May 24, 2024. It wasn’t revealed at the time why the movie was pushed back almost a full year later, but whatever the reason, George Miller and his cast and crew have extra time to make Furiosa the best product possible. If cameras will indeed start rolling in 2022, hopefully we’ll learn who Tom Burke and Chris Hemsworth soon are playing to get a better idea of what this story holds in store.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on Furiosa’s progress, including who else will be added to the main cast. You can keep apprised of movies arriving in the near future with our 2021 release schedule and 2022 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.