Original Mad Max star Mel Gibson steals Tom Hardy's thunder at the Mad Max: Fury Road LA premiere
Mel Gibson made a surprise appearance at the Mad Max: Fury Road premiere in LA on Thursday night.
The 59-year-old Aussie star made his name in the original Mad Max movie, which released in 1979 and spawned two sequels.
And the first Max Rockatansky posed for photos with the upstart, Tom Hardy, on the red carpet, much to the delight of assembled fans.
Director George Miller decided against including Gibson in the fourth Mad Max movie because he said it would be like "seeing Sean Connery appear in a Daniel Craig Bond film".
Speaking at the LA press conference, he said, "The rumour went around that Mel might do a cameo but we were trying really hard to make this world authentic and for the audience to be caught up in the experience of the screen and it didn't make sense to suddenly have Mel appear, it would just pull the audience out."
He went on to explain why Tom Hardy was the right man for the job.
"This movie took so long to get going that by the time the planets finally all aligned, Mel had hit a lot of turbulence in his life and it was also never meant to be a story about an older warrior.
"It's not like the movie Unforgiven or something like that. And so it was time for there to be a new Mad Max, just like there have been several James Bonds over the period. And when Tom walked into the room he felt so much like the character to me."
Miller admitted he wasn't keen on doing a fourth movie but it had been on his mind since 1999 when the idea first came to him.
"I'd already made three Mad Max movies, so I didn't really want to do another one, I had other things I wanted to do, but the idea came, I kept on pushing it away, it came back and grew and grew and I found myself saying, 'I think we'll be making another Mad Max movie.'
"I just didn't realise it would take more than 12 years to be here today with the finished movie!"
Mad Max: Fury Road is released on May 15.