Film premieres are always exciting, star-studded events, but they don't usually feature a surprise appearance by one of the world's biggest movie icons. But last night (Thursday May 7), Mel Gibson decided to make an unannounced visit to the red-carpet premiere of Mad Max: Fury Road in Hollywood, Variety reports.

Mel Gibson at the Mad Max: Fury Road premiereGibson treated the Fury Road cast and crew to a surprise visit

The 59-year-old actor-director rose to fame as the original Max in the 1979 film and reprised his role in two sequels, in 1981 and 1985.

He posed for photos with Fury Road star Tom Hardy and George Miller, who has directed all four movies in the franchise.

Mel Gibson poses for photos with George Miller and Tom HardyGibson (left) poses for photos with Miller (centre) and Hardy (right)

Hardy said, "It is great to have Mel here, I didn't expect him to come. When I got the part I was suddenly stuck with the thought, 'Oh no, everyone loves Mel. I'm the new kid and they are going to hate me. I suck already and I haven't even started."

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Hardy went on, "That was a concern. But I have to remember George created Mad Max with Mel, which is synonymous, and I've just inherited the legacy and it's my job to just turn up and do as he asks, so the pressure comes off." 

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Mad Max: Fury Road, which also stars Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult alongside Hardy, opens in cinemas on May 15. Set in a post-apocalyptic landscape where humanity is broken, the mega-budget action adventure follows two rebels who just might be able to restore order - Max (Hardy), a man of few words; and Furiosa (Theron), who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland. Watch the trailer below.