In between the Mad Max installments, Miller has carved out a wide range of work as a writer, producer and director, including the box office blockbuster family hits Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two, as well as Babe and Babe: Pig in the City (winning the “Best Animated Feature” Academy Award for 2006’s Happy Feet, while receiving two Oscar nods—“Best Picture” and “Best Adapted Screenplay”—for 1995’s Babe, which he wrote and produced). He also received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for 1992’s drama, Lorenzo’s Oil.

Yet Miller will probably be best remembered—at least among sci-fi and action fans—for his Mad Max creations: where cities have become deserts and roads have become battlefields. And with this week’s release of Mad Max: Road Fury, we thought it’d be fun to take a look back at what came before.

Mad Max Photo/Video Gallery: Through the Years

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

At the premiere of his latest film Mad Max: Fury Road, director/writer/producer George Miller had Mad Max actors from the past (Mel Gibson) and present (Tom Hardy) in tow.

Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max (1979)

Made for a paltry $400,000 (Aussie dollars) and with no star-power attached to it (this was only Mel Gibson's second film), Mad Max exploded at the box office raking in close to $100 MILLION around the world. For 20 years the film held the record as the most profitable film of all-time (before being surpassed by The Blair Witch Project).

Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max (1979)

Unknown actor Mel Gibson was only 21 years old when filming began for Mad Max at the end of 1977. Here's a clip from the original movie that started it all.

Mad Max (1979)

Mad Max (1979)

Didja know that when Mad Max was released in American theaters in 1980 the Aussie accents of the cast were actually overdubbed with American voice actors with much of the Australian colloquialisms replaced with stateside slang? The original dialogue was returned in the Blu-ray and DVD releases.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

The second installment of the Mad Max series was simply Mad Max 2 or Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior around the world, but in the States Warner Bros. simply went with The Road Warrior at the time of its original theatrical release. Watch the original theatrical trailer.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

One of the more iconic images from the film franchise, Mel Gibson as Mad Max Rockatansky sitting inside his black Pursuit Special.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Emil Minty as The Feral Kid, catching a boomerang. Watch this clip featuring him.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max and The Feral Kid hang on for dear life as they come under attack while driving a tanker truck.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

You'd be hanging on for dear life too if this was happening outside the cab of your truck: Guy Norris as Bearclaw Mohawk hanging on the side of the tanker while Steve J. Spears as Mechanic looks on.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

They're attacking Max and the Kid from the sides and even from the top with Vernon Wells as Wez jumping down from the roof of the cab to the hood of the tanker.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Director George Miller and Mel Gibson discuss a scene during the filming of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Explosions and car crashes are in abundance throughout the Mad Max films, and director/creator George Miller was not above taking one for the team as he did during the making of the first film when he directed production to destroy his own van for one pivotal scene, as the movie's funds were getting low.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Kjell Nilsson as gang leader The Humungus standing on a vehicle wearing the... um, interesting wardrobe by costume designer Norma Moriceau. The costumes have been labeled many things throughout the years, although we think "post-apocalyptic, punk, leather-fetish, biker" attire is pretty accurate.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

More creations from designer Norma Moriceau—as modeled by a couple of marauders on the set—which mixes a bit of Jim Morrison leather with some Village People flair.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Even members of the same gang have their differences in the Mad Max world, such as when Kjell Nilsson (The Humungus) had quite enough of Vernon Wells (Wez).

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Poor Nathan (David Downer) is attacked by a gang of leather-clad marauders as he attempts to flee the settlement.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mel Gibson as Max tends to the wounded David Downer as Nathan after he was accosted by the marauders.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Bruce Spence as The Gyro Captain, the unlikely leader of the settlers, pictured driving a bus with Arkie Whiteley as The Captain's Girl.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

The gang’s weasely Toadie (Max Phipps, pictured front center) antagonizes two victims (played by Max Fairchild and Tyler Coppin) as Kjell Nilsson (The Humungus) looks on from behind.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Taking place 15 years after the end of The Road Warrior (but only five years in real-life), Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome was another box office smash with Mel Gibson's Max clashing with an evil queen played by music legend Tina Turner in her first starring role. Watch the original theatrical trailer.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Life definitely doesn't get any easier for Mel Gibson's Max Rockatansky in the third installment of the Mad Max franchise. In fact, the going is tougher than ever.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Fresh off her previous year's remarkable comeback album, Private Dancer, which sold more than 11 million copies worldwide, Tina Turner starred as the evil and sexy Aunty Entity. She also recorded this film's #2 hit single "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)," which received Grammy and Golden Globe nominations.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Aussie rocker/actor Angry Anderson plays Ironbar Bassey, Aunty Entity's top-ranked henchman and head of Bartertown's security force, pictured here with a couple of Aunty's guards.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Angelo Rossitto is The Master (pictured sitting atop The Blaster played by Paul Larsson), a power-crazed engineer responsible for Bartertown’s electricity. While protected by The Blaster, he vies for the power held by Aunty Entity.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Edwin Hodgeman is Dr. Dealgood, the flamboyant Master of Ceremonies at the death matches that take place in the steel-cage arena known as Thunderdome. Before his bout, the reluctant participant Max is told by Dr. Dealgood, "Thunderdome's simple. Get to the weapons, use them any way you can. I know you won't break the rules, because there aren't any."

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Inside Thunderdome, Max faces off with the helmeted Paul Larsson (The Blaster) fighting on tethers while the crowd looks on. The late critic Roger Ebert said of the memorable Thunderdome fight sequence, “The first really original movie idea about how to stage a fight since we got the first karate movies. One of the great creative action scenes in the movies.” Watch the clip to see what he means!

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Within the confines of Thunderdome sometimes the only weapon you can find is... a chainsaw? When it's a battle to the death, you could do worse!

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

In the fashion trivia department, the steel mail dress worn by Tina Turner (pictured with Mel Gibson) is reported to have weighed more than 100 pounds.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

What would a Mad Max film be without some very cool desert vehicles like this one occupied by two of Aunty Entity’s guards?

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

And another one of Aunty Entity’s guards shows off his wheels.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Trivia time: All the desert vehicles in Beyond Thunderdome were equipped with manual transmissions, but Tina Turner didn't know how to drive a "stick," so her vehicle had to be modified with an automatic transmission for scenes like this one.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

When you have cars and wars, you're gonna have a few spectacular collisions out in the desert, such as this one. Who says that cars can't fly?

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Speaking of flying, you do get some aerial action to go along with the road adventures in Beyond Thunderdome!

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Oscar-winning cinematographer Dean Semler’s work throughout Beyond Thunderdome was awe-inspiring such as covering what was known as “the wasteland” (pictured here with Aunty's guards, Angry Anderson as Ironbar, Edwin Hodgeman as Dr. Dealgood, and Bartertown denizens lining the hill in the background).

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Aunty Entity (Tina Turner) confronts her captive The Master (Angelo Rossitto) as her guards look on.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Helen Buday as Savannah Nix is shown hanging onto a train car with “Little Ones” in the windows during their intended ride to freedom.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Angry Anderson as Ironbar Bassey is suspended from a pole of the train car as he attempts to stop the escape of the Little Ones.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mel Gibson as Mad Max is pictured in the Underworld—the location beneath Bartertown that acted as its power source—surrounded by its denizens.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mel Gibson’s Mad Max is pictured on top of a train car pulling Angelo Rossitto (as The Master) out of the grasp of Tina Turner’s Aunty Entity.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Moments later, in this beautiful shot, Max is pictured leaping across the train car with The Master in tow as Aunty Entity flails at her escaping prey.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Already getting critical rave reviews, George Miller's new entry into the Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road (starring Tom Hardy in the title role and Oscar winner Charlize Theron) explodes into theaters this Friday (May 15). And if you don't believe us about the explosive power of this action thriller, take a look at this trailer!

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