Action: George Miller and crew position cameras for some of the final shots for Mad Max. Photo: Jasin Boland
Away from prying eyes in western Sydney, director George Miller filmed the final climactic truck crash for Mad Max: Fury Road this week.
With a cast headed by Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron descending on Penrith Lakes, rain interrupted shooting on the big-budget action movie that features a new generation of futuristic vehicles racing through a desert wasteland.
Smashing up a couple of big trucks, it had to be very, very, very precise.
''Smashing up a couple of big trucks, it had to be very, very, very precise,'' said Miller in his first interview about the long-awaited return of Mad Max to the screen. ''So we just had to wait for a clear day.''
Mad Max star Charlize Theron was spotted lunching in Sydney. Photo: Dean Sewell
The location, chosen because ''it's isolated and you can drive big vehicles very fast and crash them'', proved muddy but perfectly suitable for the action-packed finale once the weather cleared and a hovering media helicopter disappeared.
Miller, the Oscar-winning director of three Mad Max and two Happy Feet movies, said filming would wrap at Fox Studios in the next fortnight after a ''crazy'' amount of time working on Fury Road.
After first stalling because of the financial impact of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the movie was delayed twice when rain caused the desert to blossom at Broken Hill. It was finally shot in Namibia and South Africa last year.
Mad Max star Tom Hardy. Photo: Getty
''It's been a really difficult movie,'' Miller said. ''It's pretty constant action [on screen] but we've had superb stunts and safety crew.
''We've had no significant injuries. One of our top guys was doing a simple manoeuvre and just pulled a tendon in his biceps; that's one of the worst injuries we've had.''
The Warner Bros movie reputedly centres on Max (played by Hardy) getting caught up with a group fleeing across the wasteland in a War Rig driven by the Imperator Furiosa (Theron).
''It's a pretty epic chase across the wasteland,'' Miller said.
Denying reports that he has been re-shooting scenes after Fury Road fared badly with test audiences, Miller said it was always intended to film the start and finish of the movie in Australia. ''There are no re-shoots at all,'' he said. Other than some brief augmenting shots, filming has been confined to scenes that bookend the movie.
''Our film, luckily after a ridiculous amount of work, is testing extremely well,'' Miller said. ''We're very happy. There has been a lot of doubt about it, [people saying] 'it took so long', but Warners have delayed it until 2015 to go into the top weekend of the year.''
Rather than compete with the FIFA World Cup next year, the studio has claimed a prime American summer slot in May 2015 that became vacant when J.J. Abram's new Star Wars movie was postponed.
Miller denied reports that Mel Gibson, who played Max in the first three Mad Max movies, has a cameo role.
''It would have been nice somehow but, no, it's not true,'' he said.
Will we see Max's famous Interceptor this time?
''Without giving too much away, there is one that appears.''