While Tom Hardy might be the new Max Rockatansky in director George Miller's upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road, the man who originated the iconic character, Mel Gibson, showed there was no bad blood when he made a surprise appearance at the film's Hollywood premiere on Thursday.
Gibson, looking happy and healthy, posed with Miller and Hardy on the red carpet, and the trio were all smiles.
Side by side with the new Mad Max, it’s almost hard not to imagine the next installment featuring the actors playing father-and-son Rockatanskys.
Gibson's surprise appearance on the carpet made waves at the star-studded premiere, held at the legendary Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Nicholas Hoult and Zoe Kravitz, who both star as denizens of the wasteland in Fury Road, were excited to see the original Mad Max walk the red carpet. Kravitz was in awe of Gibson's presence during her interview with ET: "Woah, Mel Gibson is here!"
Nearly 30 years after Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome -- the third installment in the franchise -- exploded into theaters, the eponymous hero returns this weekend with a brand new adventure and a brand new face as well.
The 37-year-old Dark Knight Rises star recently spoke with ET about the pressure of stepping into the shoes of an iconic character, and admitted it was "daunting."
"[It was] a bit intimidating to step into an iconic character's role and shoes," Hardy told ET's Brooke Anderson at CinemaCon in April. "Mel is iconic. And he's Max, and that's it, I won't argue with that, that's brilliant… But on this outing, George has had 30-something years' worth of reinvestment in a world that he created. And he asked me to come along and play his Max for him. And I'm not gonna say no, am I?"
Earlier this month Hardy also admitted that he felt the need to reach out to Gibson before the film hit theaters, and he even made Gibson a friendship bracelet.
"I felt I ought to touch base with him because Mad Max is synonymous with Mel Gibson," Hardy told ET. "We had lunch, and I made him a bracelet."
"It just felt like the right thing to do," said Hardy of his arts and crafts-inspired gift. "He was very pleasant actually."
Audiences will be able to see how Hardy's Mad Max stacks up against Gibson's when Mad Max: Fury Road explodes into theaters May 15. Press play below to see Tom Hardy dish on the atmosphere on the Mad Max set!
Follow Zach Seemayer on Twitter @ZachSeemayer