Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has a lot of nerdy irons in the proverbial cinematic fire. He recently starred as Doctor Manhattan in HBO’s wonderful Watchmen TV series, had the lead role in the revival of the horror movie Candyman, will be playing a new incarnation of Morpheus in The Matrix Resurrections, and returning to the role of the villain Black Manta in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. But alas, the one iron he’s had to pull out of the fire is Furiosa, George Miller’s upcoming prequel to the smash-hit Mad Max: Fury Road.
Deadline broke the news, saying Abdul-Mateen II “had to part ways with the project due to a scheduling conflict. It is unknown the exact project Abdul-Mateen is exiting over, but sources say it is a secret passion project he had been developing for some time, and production recently moved up on it, which ultimately led him to leaving Furiosa.”
The only post-Furiosa project the actor has listed on IMDB is Emergency Contact, “a high-concept, high-octane action film set in the underground music scene of Austin, Texas” which doesn’t exactly scream passion project. Given the actor’s high profile (and talent!), it’ll interesting to see what it ends up being.
Meanwhile, actor Tom Burke has been hired to play whatever Furiosa role Abdul-Mateen II had been cast in, opposite Last Night in Soho and The Queen’s Gambit’s Anna Taylor-Joy as the young Furiosa. Burke was in… uh… (frantically looks on Wikipedia) the C.B. Strike series as Comoran Strike, which… (sees the show was based on J.K. Rowling crime novels) you know what? Never mind.
Furiosa, which also stars Chris Hemsworth, was recently delayed until 2024 so honestly, there’s plenty of time for all the stars to quit and be recast multiple times. We’ll see!
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.