Charlize Theron rules, full stop. She’s one of our best actors working today, blessed with the range that gives us prickly, low-status characters like her leading role in Tully, high-status-but-still-struggling characters like her leading role in Long Shot, and utter slices of action iconography like her leading role in Mad Max: Fury Road. This means that she always shines even in projects that don’t quite meet the benchmark promised by their premise. Case in point: Atomic Blonde. While I found this film to be thin and overly cool, Theron, of course, ruled hard, and I’d love to see her revisit the world with sights on improving what was originally accomplished. Thus, I am pleased to hear her update given to the Hollywood Reporter about an upcoming Atomic Blonde 2.
The original 2017 film, directed by John Wick‘s David Leitch and written by 300‘s Kurt Johnstad, cast Theron as a killer, ruthless spy bruising her way through a double-crossing Cold War narrative alongside John Goodman, James McAvoy, and Sofia Boutella. While Theron didn’t elaborate on any specific plot details or returning cast members for the sequel (Atomic Brunette?), she did give this brief-but-spicy update:
We’re in the development stages right now, and that’s the one thing that lockdown has been good for — being able to develop with writers over Zoom. So, we’re actively developing [an Atomic Blonde sequel] right now.
“Actively developing” is something I love to hear! And I dig how Theron points out the one entertainment industry silver lining for the pandemic quarantine — the writers do indeed have a ton more time to get scripts exactly correct, leaving me cautiously optimistic for Atomic Blonde 2.
Theron also got candid about Furiosa, the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road prequel focusing on Theron’s character, directed by returning filmmaker George Miller, but not featuring Theron in the title role. Instead, Furiosa will be played by a younger actor (potentially Anya Taylor-Joy?), as it will focus on Furiosa’s more formative years. How does Theron feel about this, given she gave a lot of her creative energy and physical pain to the shoot? I’ll let her speak for herself:
It’s a tough one to swallow. Listen, I fully respect George, if not more so in the aftermath of making Fury Road with him. He’s a master, and I wish him nothing but the best. Yeah, it’s a little heartbreaking, for sure. I really love that character [Furiosa], and I’m so grateful that I had a small part in creating her. She will forever be someone I think of and reflect on fondly. Obviously, I would love to see that story continue, and if he feels like he has to go about it this way, then I trust him in that manner.
It’s a tough one to swallow for me, too. But in showing her respect to Miller as a storyteller, Theron reveals her instincts and viewpoint as a producer, too. Although she loves the character, she recognizes that letting the filmmaker communicate their vision will result in the better picture. I will say this, though, Mr. Miller: Let Theron co-write the screenplay and produce!
For more on Atomic Blonde 2, check out our ginormous interview with Leitch and Chad Stahelski.