George Miller blazed through Hall H with footage from Mad Max: Fury Road, which isn’t exactly a sequel or a prequel but feels very Mad Max through and through. “I was able to make the movie I wanted to make,” he told the standing-room-only Comic-Con crowd. “WB allows the filmmakers their process.”

It’s been 35 years since the Aussie filmmaker started the franchise with Mel Gibson as the iconic post-apocalyptic road warrior, the cult fave who last hit screens in 1985’s threequel Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. (One big difference in shooting the first movie and shooting this one? “It took over a week before we saw our dailies – now you see it immediately.”) Fury Road is led by Tom Hardy as loner Mad Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, and Miller said it lies closer in spirit to the second film.

UPDATE: Miller also unveiled four new official posters for the pic featuring stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Hugh Keays-Byrne:

Mad Max Fury Road Tom Hardy Charlize Theron

Hugh Keays-Byrne Nicholas Hoult Mad Max Fury Road

comic-con-logoIts pedigree was apparent in the footage Miller brought with him today. With the faces of Hardy’s Max, Theron’s Furiosa, and Nicholas Hoult’s ghoulish Nux projected on the extended wraparound screens introduced to Hall H for Warner Bros’ Batman V. Superman panel, fans got a sneak peek at the dusty, grimy, dbone-crunching world of Fury Road.

FURY ROAD“I was determined not to do conventional thing and do screenplay,” said Miller. “So we boarded whole thing like a comic book, with 3500 panels – there aren’t many words, people only speak when they have to and I wanted to tell the story in pictures.”

Presentation embraced the franchise’s history, integrating scenes of the Gibson Mad Max films into its sizzle reel. Moderator Chris Hardwick took it one step further: “Who knew Gibson would literally turn into Mad Max one day?”

Miller answered thoughtfully. “Well, we ask the question, ‘What is charisma?’ What is it that sets apart movie stars? Part of is it an internal tension, they’re extremely accessible and lovable and have an element of danger. I’m simplifying. And I must say Tom [Hardy] has that quality. It’s like watching a big wild animal, you don’t know what they’re going to do next. I think that paradox is one element of charisma. [Pause] I’ve been lucky to work with some wonderful actors.”