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'Furiosa' Fires Up Cannes With 6-Minute Standing Ovation for Anya Taylor-Joy and Teary Chris Hemsworth

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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 an enthusiastic six-minute standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday night.

Taylor-Joy blew kisses into the camera as the clapping continued, 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, taking a microphone to address the crowd. "Thank you for having us." 

Set in a post-apocalyptic world before the events of "Fury Road," "Furiosa" stars Taylor-Joy, taking over in the title role from Charlize Theron. Early in the film, a young Furiosa is kidnapped and imprisoned by a group of bandits known led by Warlord Dementus (Hemsworth).

"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 seemed to be in great spirits in a white tuxedo jacket that violated the strict Cannes dress code (he left his bow tie back in Australia).

Warner Bros. co-chairs Michael DeLuca and Pam Abdy walked the carpet, but Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav was notably absence from the festivities. Zaslav made the trek to Cannes last year with the HBO series "The Idol," and he threw a lavish party at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes while his media conglomerate was cutting costs and issuing pink slips. The backlash that resulted from the bad optics of splurging on a big party at Cannes led Warner Bros. to pull back this year.

The party for "Furiosa" was more understated, held in an outdoor activation off the beach that was sponsored by Campari, the Italian liquor brand. Guests nibbled on tiny plates of artichokes and white fish on crackers, but perhaps as a sign of keeping costs down, the food was scarce. The attendees were limited to the cast of the film, Cannes jury president Greta Gerwig, Cannes president Iris Knobloch and power agents Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane.

The buzz surrounding "Furiosa" was largely positive with many festival-goers dazzled by Miller's latest outing. 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 million global box office of "Fury Road."

With a budget of $168 million, "Furiosa" will need to do big business to turn a profit. But judging from its affectionate Cannes reception, this movie is off to races.

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